POSTED: Friday, June 28, 2013 - 8:00pm
UPDATED: Monday, July 1, 2013 - 3:45pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Friday, hundreds of thousands of sports fans across the globe learned who Dylan Moses is; the Baton Rouge teen is on the cover of ESPN the Magazine. Though he hasn’t played a snap of high school football he already has scholarship offers from LSU, Alabama, Florida, Florida State and others.
He got his first scholarship offer from the Tigers head coach Les Miles when he was only 14-years-old.
"We tell Dylan every day to play every down like it is your last because it is not promised. I'm very concerned he could get hurt and never play football again," Dylan’s mother, Tomeka Murray said.
Like many other moms, she’s worried about her son playing the violent game of football.
Dylan’s father, Edward Moses, Jr., played the sport in college and in a semi-pro league. He suffered several serious injuries from the game.
"Dylan was never supposed to play football. The fact that he begged to play football, I knew he would do well in it," she said with a smile.
Despite the original plan, mom and dad gave in and decided to let Dylan pick up the pigskin.
"When I first put on the pads I was in another world. I was ready and I was really excited," the 15-year-old said on a hot summer day on LSU’s campus.
"He has loved football since he was seven years old. We don't have to tell him to enjoy it. I think what makes him a good athlete is that he has a love for the game," said Murray.
Today, Moses stands just over six-foot one-inch tall. He weighs right at 215 pounds and says he’s ready to play his first high school football game.
“I really can't wait for the season. I have set my goals high and this should be my set off season.”
“What are your goals?” I asked.
“To make 100 tackles and have a 1,000 yards rushing,” he replied.
Those are stats any high school coach would gladly take, especially from a freshman.
“Running back, defense, and special teams; we will look to put him wherever he can help us,” University High School head football coach Chad Mahaffey said about the young man he’s been questioned about quite a bit over the past year.
He’s confident Moses will make an immediate impact on the varsity level as a ninth grader. He also realizes there will be growing pains, too.
“He's going to be a freshman no matter how you crack it. He will make mistakes. He will have guys run over him. Some will light him up if he’s running the ball. And he will make plays. It will be like you expect any young guy.”
But this young guy has what many others at his age don’t. At his home in the Capital City are scholarship offers to play collegiate football at LSU, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, just to name a few. His coach and his teammates describe him as a quiet, reserved kid.
The hype surrounding his recruitment is anything but that.
“I promised him at some point this will be a burden. It's exciting now, but at some time you will get overwhelmed with that and will want it to go away,” Mahaffey said following an early morning practice on U-High’s campus.
“It's a lot of pressure but he gets more from us at home than anyone outside the house. My focus is on U-High. I can't think about colleges until he gets out of high school,” his mother said bluntly.
After a finishing a pair of seven-on-seven games against local high schools I asked the young man a question he will be asked a lot over the next four year.
“If you had to make a decision today where would you choose?”
He replied, “Honestly I don't know. There are so many colleges I haven't even been to.”
But he’s making no secret about the fact LSU and Alabama are his favorites right now.
“Those are my two favorite schools. I like Coach Miles he is really cool and really funny. And coach Saban, I was thinking he would be the same guy yelling on the sideline but he is cool, too.”
For now though, Dylan tells me his focus is on the upcoming season as a Cub. That’s where he’ll try and help the team take home its first state championship since the 1980’s. To do that, Moses may have to play a major role.
"He just has to live up to the hype, don't get the big head about things and grind with us," junior running back Nic Brossette said. "We just working together, I will take him under my wing we are going to do it together."
Fair or not, there will be high expectations for Moses.
“Do you feel like you have something to prove this year,” I asked him.
“Not really, I am only a freshman. I have four years to prove myself," he said.
“Do you feel like people will be out to get you because of all this attention though?” I followed.
"Oh yes, there is no doubt. I know I will have a bullseye on my back,” he laughed.
Dylan is expected to play both linebacker and running back for the Cubs this season.
If football doesn’t work out he says he wants to go to med school.