Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He appears weekly on The Red Zone w/ JB on 92.1 FM Fayetteville, The Morning Rush w/ Tye & Tommy on 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home, 99.5 FM in Fayetteville and The Zone w/ Justin & Wess on 103.7 FM in Little Rock.
The Recruiting Guy:
Northside QB has a wide variety of skills
Fort Smith Northside Grizzlies Sophomore McLane Moody (12) passes on the run during the Fort Smith Northside at Rogers Class 7A state football playoff game, November 11, 2022, at Whitey Smith Stadium in Rogers.
Fort Smith Northside football coach Felix Curry has seen some elite players during his career, and he believes Grizzlies sophomore quarterback McClane Moody is a top talent.
Moody, 6-5, 185 pounds, is also an outstanding right-handed pitcher for the Arkansas Sticks spring and summer program. He reports a 93 mph fastball on the radar gun last summer.
He committed to Arkansas baseball coach Dave Van Horn last July. He hopes to play both sports in college.
Curry was the defensive coordinator at Flowery Branch, Ga., prior to taking over the same position for the Grizzlies in 2013 and being elevated to head coach last year. While in Georgia, Curry competed against a current NFL signal caller.
“I coached against Deshaun Watson and watched some of the guys in the Atlanta area grow up, and (Moody) is that caliber,” Curry said.
He remembers seeing Moody in junior high, but once he arrived at Northside, Curry soon realized his athleticism was more than he expected.
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“I’m thinking 6-4, long, lanky, not fast, not athletic, tall with a big arm, and then I started watching him run and I told some of the coaches to watch Moody run. He’s actually fast,” Curry said.
Moody recorded 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash last spring. He also recorded a 31-inch vertical jump, a 4.4-second pro agility and a broad jump of 9-plus feet.
“I started noticing how elite he was in the measurables,” Curry said.
Moody played behind talented senior Dae’Marion Savoy last year but started three games after Savoy suffered an injury. He completed 61 of 124 passes for 710 yards and 9 touchdowns, and rushed 10 times for 46 yards and a score.
“In football, not only does he have a good arm, he has the perfect quarterback height,” Curry said.
Moody’s brother McCade was a standout linebacker and pitcher for the Grizzlies and is now pitching for Carl Albert State College in Poteau, Okla. Moody enjoys the mental part of football, before the snap and after.
“I like thinking a lot. I like the decision making,” Moody said. “Things move very fast. It’s lot of fun.”
Because of summer baseball, he is limited in his ability to attend college football camps, but he has two in mind.
“I plan to go to an Arkansas camp this summer,” he said. “I plan to go to an Oklahoma State camp.”
Curry believes Moody has a chance to be comparable to former Northside and Arkansas quarterback Matt Jones, who was the 19th pick in the 2005 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“I wasn’t here when Matt Jones came through,” Curry said. “He’ll be pretty close to him in athleticism. A lot of people that were here said Moody kind of reminds you of that.
“With him being a 4.6 kid right now, I think he’s touching 4.4 as a senior.”
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