BATON ROUGE, La. — For Aaron Moffitt, the LSU football team was always the girl next door.
They grew up together. They’d been through the good and the bad, the highs and the lows. LSU is a place he felt comfortable and thought he could grow. So when other schools came knocking, offering scholarships and official visits, Moffitt felt guilty even listening.
“It was difficult, no doubt,” he said. “I felt like I was cheating on LSU every time I went somewhere else. If you’ve got your girlfriend, you’re going to go over to other girls’ houses and you kind of feel misplaced. But recruiting is recruiting.”
Moffitt, a 3-star defensive tackle out of Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, signed with LSU as a member of the school’s recruiting class of 2017. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t entertain any other offers. Moffitt had about 20 scholarship offers ranging from Colorado to California and Virginia to Vanderbilt.
But other than LSU, there was really only one school that tugged at him: TCU.
“The stuff they said, I didn’t hear that from anybody else,” Moffitt said. “I’d start my freshman year. I’d play special teams. They flew in [head coach Gary Patterson]. He came in and stayed the whole day. The D-Line coach waited for me… in my driveway [until] 9:30 waiting on me. Him and [defensive coordinator Chad] Glasgow stayed with me until 11:30 just talking. Not even about football. TCU was the second place that felt like home to me.”
Two things stood out to Moffitt about TCU. First was the campus. But more importantly, there was TCU’s tradition. Since taking over as coach at TCU in 2000, Patterson has won 73 percent of his games with six conference championships and three BCS or New Year’s Six bowl appearances. Moffitt was drawn to that success because, to put it bluntly, he likes to win.
But at the end of the recruiting cycle, Moffitt said he just felt like LSU was the best fit. He’s been around the program since he was a child. His father Tommy has worked as LSU’s strength and conditioning coach as long as Patterson has been the head coach at TCU. Plus he’s known defensive line coach Pete Jenkins for a while and has been going to his camps for years. And he knows how LSU develops players at his position.
And also, being recruited isn’t all fun. It’s kind of hard.
“Players love going on official visits, but those things are like work,” Moffitt said. “I didn’t get any sleep. I was tired every day.”