Dudley E. Dawson is a reporter for Hawgs Illustrated. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a voter for the Heisman Trophy.
Linebacker Moore sees promise in Arkansas' young talent
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas didn’t play the way it wanted to on Saturday in a 54-24 loss to Mississippi State, but at least one official visitor this weekend saw some hope in the youth movement.
Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Oakland outside linebacker Aaron Moore (6-3, 220) saw promise from young receivers, running backs, quarterback KJ Jefferson and some defensive players.
“The visit was great,” Moore said. “I saw a lot of Arkansas that I liked. I liked the environment. The atmosphere on gameday was amazing. I saw a lot of crazy fans and a lot of people who love Arkansas football.
“At the same time, I saw a lot of things Arkansas needs to fix, but I think really with the next class coming in and younger players playing they are on right track to correcting the program.”
Moore, who had visited Fayetteville unofficially back on March 9, has offers from Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Memphis, Purdue, Middle Tennessee State, Charlotte and others.
Arkansas is in great shape with him.
“Definitely. The fans, atmosphere and the coaches,” Moore said. “This is a really great group of coaches. They all have a special love for players. They all made time to see all the recruits that are here. Shows you how much they care about everybody here. It's like a family down here and I like that.”
He is well aware the Razorbacks need to add linebackers to their 2020 recruiting class with De’Jon “Scoota” Harris graduating and the lone true linebacker pledge right now being Knoxville West’s Drew Francis.
“They've got a good linebacker group that is talented,” Moore said. “But they're young. There's always the opportunity to play young there. With Scoota (Harris) leaving and No. 10 (Bumper Pool) being a [sophomore], just the option to play early if I come here, that's something I'm looking at for sure.”
It was the people inside the Arkansas program that stood out as a highlight for him.
“I would say meeting all the players and all the coaches, getting to interact with them,” Moore said. “It was just a great experience. I loved it.”
Moore, who Arkansas offered on May 2, 2018, brought along his mom for the visit.
“She loved it,” Moore said. “She was smiling the whole time. She loved Fayetteville. It's a great place to be.”
Arkansas redshirt freshman linebacker Andrew Parker was his host for the weekend.
“We had fun,” Moore said. “I got to meet a lot of players. I got to meet De’Jon, Gabe (Richardson) and I had a great time.”
Moore helped lead Oakland to a state championship with a 37-0 win over Memphis Whitehaven last season and outscored its foes 166-17 in the playoffs.
His Patriots are 10-0 this season and riding a 23-game winning streak heading into Friday’s game against visiting Lebanon.
“I've got the playoffs for my high school, so I'm really going to be focused on that the next couple of weeks,” Moore said. “After that I will take it day by day and see how it goes.”
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