Opening up the third week of spring ball, UCLA head coach Chip Kelly offered his thoughts on first-year quarterback Dante Moore. The former five-star is, according to Kelly, “more advanced” than most quarterbacks when they first step on campus.
“Yeah, I mean I think one thing about the quarterback play is it doesn’t matter what year you’re in, I think you have to be a really quick decision maker, and you have to have repetitive accuracy, he has both,” Kelly said. “That’s something that’s stood out since the beginning. He may not be able to articulate everything that’s gone on in the play call, you know, he’s still getting that part down, it’s new terminology for him.
“He came from a decent offense at the high school level… but he’s got a really good feel for the game and intuitive nature of where people are spatially. So, I think he can make good decisions. The next step for him is just that repetitive accuracy. He continues to throw a really, really catchable ball that’s really located in the right spots.”
Kelly’s praise comes as no surprise since Moore was one of the highest-rated recruits in the country. He was the No. 3 overall recruit and No. 2 quarterback in the 2023 On3 Industry Ranking. The On3 Industry is a proprietary algorithm that compiles ratings and rankings from all four major recruiting media services.
“We thought Dante Moore was arguably the most polished passer in the 2023 cycle, so it’s not surprising to hear he’s ahead of the curve,” said Charles Power, On3’s Director of Scouting and Rankings. “We saw Moore at the All-American Bowl in January and he was phenomenal. He was the best quarterback in practice and turned in one of the better in-game performances we’ve seen in the past few years. He’s played a ton of football as a four-year starter in high school and was always a standout in neutral settings, like camps and 7-on-7’s. The consistency and accuracy, particularly in the intermediate area of the field always stood out.”
Moore opens up on transition to college football
Moore is currently on track to be the future of Bruins program. But the early enrollee out of Detroit is still getting use to life as a college student and college athlete.
He appreciates the veterans on the team and especially on offense who are helping him and open to his questions.
“Me coming in, I appreciate everybody on the team that’s accepted me and pushing me every day,” Moore said after a recent practice. “I said I appreciate them. When I’m in the game, I feel real comfortable. Everybody’s believing in me and I’m believing in everybody else. I appreciate everything going on and I love this team.”
Moore was a late commit to the program, flipping from Oregon in December. It was a major win for Chip Kelly’s 2023 class.
“I’ve only been there for a couple of months and my first spring ball ever,” Moore said. “I’m still adjusting to the way the guys are moving on football field. In high school, we have a couple guys that’s high 4.5, 4.6. But out here everyone is running 4.4, 4.5…I remember my first week I got here when I was throwing with them, I was a little late a couple of throws. They were just telling me hey, adjust this adjust to that and everybody has gotten quicker and everything but just adjusting to the speed of the game and really just understanding the offense is something I need to improve on.”
On3’s Peter Warren contributed to this report.
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