The Wolverine

September 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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52 THE WOLVERINE SEPTEMBER 2019   COMMITMENT PROFILE D elran (N.J.) High three-star ath- lete RJ Moten had a pretty good idea that he would be committing once he got to Ann Arbor for the BBQ at The Big House, and that is exactly how it played out. The 6-0, 201-pounder 's second visit to U-M was a home run, and he was ready to pull the trigger almost immediately. "The first time I went up there it was great," Moten said. "My dad had been telling me that it was Michigan, and that I was going to love it up there. "When we went up there, I in- stantly fell in love with it. I always told my mom that when I found a school that I wanted to go to, that I would text her while I was there and tell her that she needed to come out. "The first time I was at Michigan I told my mom, 'This is the one. You have to come out here.' I told both of my parents that this is where I wanted to go, and I wanted to commit. I was ready then, but I told my mom that she had to be there for me to commit. "She came up there [for the BBQ] and fell in love with it, too, and that was pretty much it." A very versatile athlete, Moten was recruited by many schools at sev- eral different positions. One of the reasons he picked Michigan was be- cause of U-M's defense, and how the coaches bonded with him and intend to use him in the future. "I'll be playing the rover position on defense," Moten ex- plained. "Because of that I really connected with Coach [Chris] Partridge. I really can talk to him about anything. He's like an older brother to me. "It's really cool to have a coach like that. He'll text me and just ask me how my day is. I'll text him about anything. He'll come to Ocean City or one of the beaches around here and I'll ask him where he's at. It's really just a cool relationship like that." Delran head coach Garrett Lucas has watched Moten put his abilities on dis- play firsthand and knows that his star player would succeed anywhere on the field. That's why he's so excited about Moten heading to Michigan. "Overall, he's just a ball hawk. He's one of those kids that you don't know how, but he just shows up around the ball," Lucas explained. "In one game against our rival last year, he threw for a touchdown, rushed for two, caught a touchdown pass and had two interceptions. "I've never seen anything like that. I've never seen somebody be in on just about every single play. I think that's what makes him so damn unique. He really is a ball magnet. He reminds me a lot of Jabrill Peppers. "I think he'll be used on offense too. I know Coach [Jim] Harbaugh made mention a little bit on doing an offensive package with him because he's comfort- able dealing with the ball and he's just great in space. I wouldn't be surprised if that happens." As a junior, Moten rushed for 1,305 yards and 16 touchdowns, caught 16 passes for almost 300 yards and four scores, and recorded five interceptions and 13 passes broken up playing safety. Moten was named to The Philadelphia Inquirer's All-South Jersey second team as a running back. He also plans to play baseball at Michigan and is very excited about that opportunity after the Wolverines' deep run under head coach Erik Bakich earlier this year. — Brandon Brown Versatile Athlete RJ Moten 'Instantly Fell In Love' With U-M FILM EVALUATION Strengths: RJ Moten's greatest as- set is his versatility. He has played all over the field in high school on both sides of the ball and also shines as an outfielder for Delran. He is fast, can jump, has great ball skills, can cover, is electric in space and has good size at 6-0, 201 pounds. He projects as a safety for Michigan, but could get a look at running back down the line if his abilities and the depth chart call for it. Areas O f Improvement: The same versatility that makes Moten a weapon has also become a bit of a weakness because he is never focused on any one position and has never honed his skills as a cover man. He is going to work there more exclusively as a senior and still has a lot to learn about the position. Michigan Player Comparison: Moten's high school coach sees a slightly less dynamic version of Ja- brill Peppers when he watches his star athlete play football. Moten is similarly built and used in every possible way on the field just like Peppers was. Moten is longer than Peppers and a little less explosive, but they're games are quite similar. The fact that they both hail from the Garden State also brings on the comparison. — Analysis from Moten put together an outstanding junior campaign at Delran (N.J.) High, rushing for 1,305 yards and 16 touchdowns, catching 16 passes for almost 300 yards and four scores, and recording five interceptions and 13 passes broken up. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM Moten "The first time I was at Michigan I told my mom, 'This is the one. You have to come out here.' I told both of my parents that this is where I wanted to go, and I wanted to commit."

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