Name: Kentrail Moran
Class of 2016
Moran is a class of 2016 prospect out of O’Fallon high school in O’Fallon, Illinois. The 24/7 composite Four-Star is currently the fourteenth ranked running back for his class. Moran holds six offers, which includes three Big Ten schools (Michigan, Illinois and Indiana) as well as Kansas, Syracuse and Northern Illinois. Moran was being recruited by Wolverine assistants Jeff Hecklinski and Fred Jackson, but it remains unclear who will continue his recruitment as it seems neither assistant coach will be a hold over from Brady Hokes staff. The Wolverines certainly seem to be in the lead for Moran with in state Illinois being a close second. Moran has not officially visited Ann Arbor but plans on doing so. On December 29th Moran tweeted “ Gotta get up to Michigan with the hire of Jim! #GoBlue” and has been interacting with fans on twitter. The fact that there are two other backs in the 16’ class being pursued by Michigan does not diminish Moran’s interest. The number one back of 2016 Kareem Walker and four star Elijah Holifield are both being heavily pursued by the Wolverines. Derrick Green, De’Veon Smith and Drake Johnson will all be seniors in 16’, while Ty Isaac and Ross Douglas will be redshirt juniors so there will be plenty of room on the depth chart for more than one running back in the 16 class.
Type of back: Speed (One Cut)
Morans’s frame will allow him to be an every down back In the B1G. At 192 pounds as a junior, he will only continue to grow into his big 5’11 frame. He is big and physical enough to run through arm tackles and while no one will confuse him for a power back, Moran does not shy away from contact.
His SPARQ verified 40 yard dash time is 4.48. Moran has a great initial burst to take the hand off and hit the hole, getting to the second level before you know it, but he is quickest to get from the second to the third level, where he is prone to slide his runs to the outside. Once he catches the edge and turns up the sideline, only a great defensive angle will catch him. His running motion is very smooth and looks effortless.
Vision is one of the most important things a running back can possess, and Moran has plenty of it. Moran will stretch the defense to its edges and once a defender gets over the top on him. He’ll put his foot in the dirt and cut upfield or ever back against the grain. He does not spend much time making moves horizontally, he is very north-south oriented. Patience on the other hand is another Story. Too often he will slide a run to the edge too early, forgoing any downfield blockers that might present themselves. A little more patience at the second level would lead to longer runs for Moran.
Pass Protection: A
Although from a small sample size, Moran is excellent in pass protection. He can set the edge of sprint out passes or step up in the pocket and take on a blitzing line backer. Moran does not back down from physical play and is willing to get his hands dirty.
Another small sample size, Moran’s high school offense does not utilize the back out of the back field often but when it does, Moran has soft hands, that I believe are good enough to leave him in on third down passing situations.
Moran has outstanding body control, his running motion is smooth and fluid. He runs with no wasted movement which makes him a very efficient runner. He is capable of making the first man miss while also occasionally needing more than one tackler to bring him down. Once he has put his foot in the dirt and gets vertical he is hard to bring down and even harder to catch. Any knock on Moran’s athletic ability is his lack of foot speed. He is a long strider, and while he has overall quickness as a runner he lacks lateral quickness.
Kentrail Moran is a top tier tail back as a junior in high school. He possesses great vision and has more than enough athletic ability to exploit any hole he finds on the field. He is an all-purpose back at his core, and while he would rather run past you than through you, he does not shy away from contact. If he can continue to grow as an athlete and get better as a football player, I believe he will be hard to keep off the field in any situation, and that includes returning kicks. Moran would be a great addition to the Wolverines 2016 recruiting class, and I believe he would flourish in Jim Harbaugh’s offense regardless of what role he finds himself in whether it be a third down pass catcher or a work horse every down back.