An All-State lineman on the offensive side of the ball last season, Wilde Lake's Moise Larose may be even more impressive this fall on the defensive side.

The 6-foot-5, 285-pound senior has committed to Rutgers as an offensive tackle, but Wildecats coach Mike Harrison is getting plenty of calls from college coaches who would rather see Larose on their defensive lines next fall.

Larose, who played his first three seasons at Meade before transferring to Wilde Lake when his family moved over the summer, leads the Wildecats (3-3) in tackles for a loss with 11. He has 34 total tackles, one sack and three forced fumbles.

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A native of Haiti, Larose moved to Florida when he was 3 years old and Maryland when he was 13. In January 2010, he was visiting Haiti during the magnitude 7.0 earthquake, and two of his six siblings were killed.

Larose said counseling helped him get through the devastating experience, and he is back on track with a 3.8 grade point average, aiming to play in the NFL. He plans to study forensic science and criminal justice in college.

Why were you in Haiti in January 2010?

My grandfather had passed away, so we had gone there to bury him. I hadn't been there since I was 3, so I didn't remember everybody. It was fun before the tragedy happened. It was pretty good to be back there, back where I was from.

What was it like when the earthquake struck?

It was crazy. We didn't have any form of communication, so we were in Haiti forever, it seemed like.

How did you lose your siblings?

They were with their stepmom and [their family members] lived at least 50 miles away from where we were, and the building collapsed on them while they were trying to run out. I thought I lost my father because he wasn't with us when it happened. I was with my brother, my stepmom and three other sisters. I didn't know where he was. He was just lost and he found his way back.

When you came back here, how did you handle such a devastating loss?

I just felt empty, like life was pointless. When we came back, we lived with my auntie for like a week or so, and we just stayed in the house. We didn't go to school. Then, when we went to school, we were in the guidance office just trying to stay strong about the whole situation. I got some counseling, but it took me a couple of weeks.

How did you get started playing football?

A friend persuaded me. I was not very interested in it. I was a big boy and they wanted me to play for their rec team. I was in the fifth grade and I decided to go out, and I loved it since the first game. We got blown out the first game and I never cried playing any other sport, but that kind of got me into football, because I had feeling and emotion for it. That gave me my passion for the game.

Have you always been a lineman?

No, my freshman year, I was actually a receiver. At the start of sophomore year, they changed me to a lineman, because I got hurt my freshman year (minor hamstring tear during basketball season) and I became lazy and got bigger and became a lineman. Transitioning into my junior year at Meade, we had a new head coach (Rich Holzer) and he was a very good influence in getting me to get off my butt and start training to become a better football player. It obviously worked out.

Are you better on the offensive side or the defensive side? There seems to be some discrepancy about that.

I don't know how it came out, but I just came to be the man on defense. I always wanted to play defense my whole life because that's where you get the credit. This year, I just did what the coaches asked me and they made me a better player on the D-line.