One scout labeled UGA offensive line target Demetri Moore as a bona fide “dancing bear” in his evaluation. That’s a term of endearment for offensive tackles. Think Hulk Hogan with Usher’s moves on the dance floor.
The junior college prospect from Mississippi Delta took his official visit to UGA last weekend. The 6-foot-6, 293-pounder had a top group of UGA, Auburn and Cincinnati prior to that trip.
“Before my official visit I couldn’t really choose a leader,” Moore told Dawg Nation. “It was basically my top three between Cincinnati, Auburn and Georgia. .. I was bouncing back and forth between all three. But after the visit I am really feeling Georgia to be my leader now.”
He did not say it was a perfect visit, but he sure provided enough highlights. Dinner with UGA offensive line coach Rob Sale’s family was an experience. Moore called it his “initiation to the UGA football family.” Sale’s young son started out making noises in his direction and then playfully tried to bite him.
Moore chuckled as he recalled that story.
Freshman tackle Patrick Allen was his host on Friday night. Sophomore Isaiah Wynn was his Saturday tour guide. Wynn took a moment to play reporter and asked him what he thought of UGA and his visit to that point.
“I told him I was really feeling it,” Moore said.
Wynn then proceeded to “introduce him to the whole team.” Moore said when he did, Wynn kept introducing him as a UGA commit who will join the team in late December.
That wasn’t entirely accurate. At least not yet.
“The coaches sat me down and were genuine and upfront people,” Moore said. “The players already made me feel like I was part of the team. Even as I went around town I was really shocked by the Georgia fans. They were all friendly down-to-earth people. It seemed like one big family at Georgia.”
Moore now thinks of his top schools as UGA and Cincinnati. The latter is his hometown. He said his best relationship with a recruiter is with Cincinnati offensive line coach Darren Hiller.
“I don’t like that ranking stuff the schools with the numbers,” he said. “But I am really feeling Georgia and Cincy. I don’t want to completely say Auburn is (number) three and throw them out of the picture. But I feel like Georgia and Cincy are my competitors. Let’s call them my competitors instead of giving out numbers for those schools right now.”
He noted a distinction in UGA’s favor.
“I want to go where I better myself to be looked at as an NFL prospect,” Moore said. “With Cincinnati, I know any school you go to you will get that exposure. But at Georgia you are definitely going to get that exposure. You will have the right coaches. You definitely will have the right running backs that I will be blocking for. I feel like at Georgia I will have the right exposure and that’s why they are the leader for me right now.”
He’s holding onto one more official visit to Auburn, but he’s pondering if another trip is necessary.
“I’m not sure about that one,” Moore said. “I’ve been to Auburn so many times.”
Moore said it was his first trip to UGA, but he’s already planning another unofficial visit. When he does, he will bring his mother along.
“I want my mom to see the same things I see,” he said. “I want her to see what I am feeling so she can understand what I want to do.”
He said he is not going on any visits this weekend. He also asked Sale how many offensive line recruits UGA was planning to sign.
“I was shocked when he said five,” Moore said. “That’s basically a whole offensive line. … He also said he wanted to bring in two (junior college) tackles this year.”
Moore plans to enroll in January.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.