LSU quarterback Danny Etling, with one second left on the clock in the fourth quarter against Auburn two weekends ago, rolled to his right and found D.J. Chark in the back corner of the end zone in what looked like a game-winning touchdown.
There was one problem though. Etling didn’t get the snap off. Auburn beat LSU in what would be Les Miles’ final game as coach.
In the exact moment when news broke the following day that Miles had been fired, 5-star linebacker Dylan Moses’ recruitment immediately changed. Two weeks later, Moses shockingly committed to LSU’s rival, Alabama.
Moses has been on the recruiting scene since his eighth grade year, picking up early offers from LSU, Alabama and Texas. He arguably would become the nation’s most well-known prospect, as he appeared on the cover of ESPN The Magazine.
The Baton Rouge, La., native committed to LSU when he was 15. He eventually de-committed from the Tigers two years later to take visits elsewhere, but it seemed like a near certainty that he’d end up committed to LSU when he was ready to sign his letter of intent.
Before transferring to IMG Academy to finish his senior year of high school, Moses’ school in Baton Rouge, University Lab, was located on LSU’s campus. From his high school stadium, you could clearly see Tiger Stadium lurking in the distance.
He developed a tight relationship with Miles, and his relationship with the former LSU coach was better than with every other coach in the country. Not only was he close with Miles but also his children. Moses classified Miles as his “family friend.”
Moses was affected by LSU’s decision last season to get the wheels in motion to fire Miles. But in a miracle at the end of the year, Miles was allowed to return for 2016.
But Moses had taken notice of the way LSU’s administration was practically doing what it could to push Miles out the door.
During that time of LSU’s instability, Moses declared Alabama as the leader in his recruitment. He wasn’t even considering LSU at the time.
He sent the following message to SEC Country in November on Miles’ situation:
“To be honest, I personally think it’s wrong. I have a good relationship with Coach Miles, and you have to think about it. Before the three losses, people weren’t talking about firing him because LSU was undefeated. Now look, I think everything is a process. Just like how last year LSU was a really young team. Then they grew. They have improved since last year, and I feel like that they’ll improve even more next year maybe to even win it all OR win most of their regular-season games. LSU really has a bright future. … Just really takes some strong supporters and faithful fans to actually see it. I mean, even though I de-committed from LSU, it was only for me to explore and view my options, but I still have love for the school no matter what. I just hate how the media is bashing Coach Miles like that. I’m friends with all of his kids, and I also played alongside his son Manny Miles, so I actually have a real relationship with the man. I just wish they’d give him some slack. Just like there’s a slogan “Built by Bama,” LSU is building their program back to that strong team they used to be. Once these guys keep strengthening their mindset and set a TEAM GOAL on where they want to be and what they have to do and get the incoming recruits to have that same mindset once they come, they’ll be just fine. Maybe even an unstoppable force. The last time LSU had an 11-win season was in 2011. They’ve lost a lot since then. Honestly I think they’re doing a great job as far as the rebuilding process goes. I think maybe next season they’ll be ready. Like I said, it’s all a process. Coach Miles knows what he’s doing. You’re not going to become great overnight. It takes time and patience. God has a plan for these guys and Coach Miles.”
After Miles got fired last week, Moses told reporters he was pushing his commitment back from Dec. 15 to Jan. 1, and he’d announce his anticipated decision at the Under Armour All-American game.
That move was viewed as Moses giving LSU every chance possible to earn his commitment. The Tigers would have their permanent coach in place and Moses could take a last minute trip back to Baton Rouge to see the new program.
He wasn’t going to take an official visit to LSU, but he did schedule one for early December to Houston. That was significant because the Cougars’ coach is Tom Herman, who is one of LSU’s top targets to be its next head coach. The plan to visit Houston happened only after Miles was fired. Seeing Houston up close for 48 hours would allow Moses to get a good look at LSU’s possible coach.
Those visits now won’t occur, Moses said on Sunday. His recruitment is over. There will be no more official or unofficial visits. He’s locked in with Alabama. Fans should credit outside linebackers coach Tosh Lupoi for the massive recruiting win. Moses told SEC Country a month ago that his relationship with Lupoi was rapidly growing. He also said at the time that Alabama, because of Lupoi, was recruiting him the hardest.
The nation’s No. 4 overall player spent the weekend in Tuscaloosa on what’s now going to be his only official visit. He saw Alabama’s linebackers dominate Kentucky’s offensive line.
Reuben Foster, who Moses calls a big brother, was spotted after the game running up to Moses, who watched the Tide win 34-6 from the first row in Bryant-Denny Stadium. During the short embrace, Foster told Moses to call him in a little bit.
You have to wonder if that phone call did happen, perhaps Foster, who will enter the NFL draft at the end of the season, told his “little brother” to carry on his legacy in an Alabama uniform.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
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