Notre Dame has the makings of an elite 2023 defensive line class, and newly hired position coach Al Washington will be tasked with adding to it with more top level talents. Outside of keeping elite commits Keon Keeley and Brenan Vernon in the class, arguably the biggest task for Washington is landing Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha Catholic star Jason Moore to the class.
Of course, Washington is basically starting from scratch when it comes to Moore's recruitment. The 6-5, 260-pound lineman was previously recruited by head coach Marcus Freeman, defensive director of recruiting Chad Bowden and recently departed line coach Mike Elston. Elston has since left for Michigan, but that won't impact Moore, who clearly holds the Irish program in high regard.
“Coach Elston leaving was definitely a shock and I wish him the best at Michigan but I feel like it won’t affect my recruitment as much with Notre Dame,” Moore said, getting that out of the way.
For Notre Dame, having Keeley and Vernon in the class is a tremendous start to the class, but building an elite defensive line class means adding more players with the same kind of talent and upside.
Moore ranks as the nation's No. 38 overall player on the On3 consensus rankings and he ranks No. 44 overall on the 247Sports composite rankings. Both outlets rank him as the 7th best defensive lineman in the country.
Moore comes from an athletic family. His older brother Justin, a junior guard for the 11th-ranked Villanova Wildcats basketball team, is currently averaging 15.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.
Justin went from DeMatha, a Catholic high school, to Villanova, a Catholic University. The younger Moore is also intrigued by the idea of continuing to build on the values DeMatha has instilled in him.
“I feel like Notre Dame is a great school," Moore explained. "I feel like it's almost the same as my high school so it would be an easy transition for me. My relationships with the coaches get better and better every week. We just keep in contact every week and the bond continues to grow.”
Even with the transition from Elston to Washington underway, the new face of the Notre Dame program has made Moore a priority for the cycle. That, of course, would be Freeman.
“I keep in touch with Coach Freeman and Bowden," Moore noted. "I was happy for Coach Freeman taking over the job and felt he would do a great job for the program.”
A continued theme amongst Notre Dame recruits is the necessity to get on campus. Unless you have been there to experience it all, it is difficult to quantify. Getting them on campus - that’s the game changer.
Getting them to come back... that’s even more telling.
“I have been to the campus one time, and I do plan on coming back in the future.”
As a player, the fit may be even better. Something that Moore is very well aware of - especially with how multiple fronts have tended to be under Freeman.
“I think I fit in well with the scheme," explained the talented defensive end. "With me being able to play the 30technique and strong side defensive end, I will fit in great.”
Not only does he fit in well in the defensive structure, that flexibility also means he complements Keeley and Vernon extremely well. It means should he pick Notre Dame the staff would be able to play all three talented linemen at the same time.
From a schematic perspective, he is a headache for opposing offenses. His ability to work inside-out with his combination of length and athleticism is a difficult proposition to game plan for. The proposition of Moore joining the likes of Keeley and Vernon is tantalizing to say the least. Competition will be high for the 2023 DeMatha product.
“Some of the other schools I’m interested in so far are Penn State, LSU, Michigan, South Carolina, and Maryland," he said. "I have no leaders right now.”
At this time, Notre Dame is in a good spot. They bring a lot to the table for Moore from a variety of standpoints. Continuing to add length and athleticism to the defense has been a priority under Freeman.
Moore would add both without question.
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