LOS ANGELES – While there were plenty of high profile kids at the NIKE Camp on Sunday at the University of Southern California, there were a few high profile players watching on the sidelines, not participating for one reason or another.
Portland (Ore.) Lincoln defensive end Ethan Johnson couldn't workout because of an injured ankle and Los Angeles Dorsey safety Rahim Moore wasn't working out because of track commitments. Still that didn't stop Moore from watching the camp and picking up some tips from the coaches.
"I'm for sure going to be up at the Palo Alto camp," Moore, who is 6-foot and 185 pounds, said. "My track coach made me promise that I'd just watch today. But I'm out here trying to pick up a few pointers to help my game out. I have the SPARQ parachutes, so I know how to do some of that stuff, but I wanted to pick something up that'll help me become a better player."
Moore, a member of the pre-evaluation period Rivals100 list, said he's been spending most of his time focused this spring on track. He said he's running his 400 meters in the low 47 second range, which would puts him among the best in the state. He is now working to get an even lower time.
"Right now, I'm around a low 47, but I'm trying get to a high 46," Moore said. "But I'm still working you know. Our track team is looking really nice. Johnathan Franklin has had a good track season. There are a couple of things I need to sharpen up on. I'm just working hard on all of that."
One thing he isn't working hard on too much is the recruiting process. With the spring evaluation period in full swing, you would expect Moore's phone to be blowing up, even though he made an early commitment to UCLA.
However, mom has a plan for combating that.
"My mom took my phone from me," Moore said. "She wanted me to lay low with this a little bit."
But the plan hasn't stopped others from offering him lately.
"I got offered by Florida recently, but I'm just trying to stay focused and keep my grades up," he said. "I just want to be me and keep working hard. I need to stick to the basics. It's still the same old, same old, though. UCLA is No. 1. I'm still committed to them, and I plan on going there, but I also want to make sure that it's the right fit. Auburn, Florida, Michigan, Ohio State are also up there. It's good to have options for sure."
One school Moore said he'd like to hear from during the spring is the Texas Longhorns.
"I've always been a Texas fan when I was young," he said. "I just like the tradition and everything. I haven't even gotten a letter from Texas. I'm kind of shocked. I'd really like to let them know that I have some high interest in them. That's a good program, and that's pretty much it."
Moore is listed as a safety, but he said he's also open to moving around in the defensive backfield. With his speed some schools have also talked to him about playing corner.
"I want to play wherever the coaches want me to play at," he said. "If they need me at corner, then that's where I'll be at no problem. If they need me to hit something, then I'll go back out there at safety and make interceptions. It'll be basically what the coaches want. If they need me at a certain position, then that's what I'll do. I want to do whatever works."