It was a night Loyola Blakefield quarterback Jordan Moore has been dreaming about for most of his life. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, he made the most of it.
With 10 schools — Boston College, Duke, Harvard, Maryland, Princeton, Syracuse, UCLA, Virginia, Wisconsin and Yale — vying for his commitment, his decision came at 8 p.m. on Saturday night via Instagram.
He made his decision swiftly and picked up a black cap donning a Duke insignia.
“I always liked watching Duke basketball and I was always interested in the school,” Moore said. “So, when I got the offer from the football team, I was very excited. We went to visit and we watched them beat Miami and it was the greatest environment and atmosphere. I liked how genuine the coaches were and my goal is to play quarterback at the college level and I don’t think there’s a better school to do it than under Coach Cutcliffe, who coached many great quarterbacks like the Mannings and Daniel Jones.”
In 2019, Moore led the Dons to an 8-2 record against an independent schedule, passing for 2,184 yards, 27 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also ran for 649 yards, seven touchdowns and had a passer rating of 114.37. In six games, Moore threw for three or more touchdowns.
The junior is listed as a three-star recruit, ranked as the 81st athlete nationwide and the 31st-ranked player in the 2021 class in Maryland, per 247Sports’ Composite. He also drew offers from Army, Dartmouth, Duke, Fordham, Indiana, Liberty, Navy, Pittsburgh, Temple, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and West Virginia before cutting his list to 10 on April 6.
From the onset of Moore’s recruitment, academics was the top priority. Having to choose from some of the top Ivy League schools and other high-level private institutions like Duke was a dream come true for his father, Percy Moore. It made him extremely proud to see his son be able to select an elite school, especially after not having any offers last year.
“This time last year, we had just started visiting schools and he had no real offers and his first offer came in June,” Percy Moore said. "From June until the end of November, we accumulated about 16 or so offers at that point. But what I noticed and what his mother noticed was that many of these schools were going after his academics. The schools that were offering him were schools that 5% of the applicants get in or 10% of them get in.
“I’m very proud as a dad for not only his football abilities, but the fact that he was able to get these offers from schools that many folks wouldn’t even have the opportunity. Now that we narrowed it down to Duke, it checked many boxes for us. The first one was the academic reputation, the alumni base, the fact that their program is so well-recognized internationally was very important to us. It was also because of the coaches have such as great interest in him, particularly at quarterback, makes us super super proud that he made this decision.”
Moore holds a 3.76 GPA at Loyola and is the “definition of a student-athlete,” according to his coach Anthony Zehyoue.
“He gets to make an impactful decision for his life,” Zehyoue said before Moore’s commitment. “It’s so cool to have all of those opportunities in front of him and watch him discern where he wants to go — schools like Harvard. I went to a state school — I never had those options in front of me like he does. So, it’s remarkable to watch him and his family go through that. He definitely worked hard for it and he’s deserving of it. It’s just fun to be a part of it.”
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Moore and Zehyoue have led a magnificent turnaround for Loyola since 2017. The Dons went 2-9 in Zehyoue’s first year as coach before going 6-4 in 2018. Moore built his ability as a passer with long workouts, training and attention to detail. Zehyoue has seen the quarterback blossom from a freshman backup into a star on the varsity level as a junior.
“It’s been a blast because he’s a competitive kid — he hates losing — he’s brought that competitiveness to our program,” Zehyoue said. “He really does enjoy going to practice and as a coach, personally, I love practice. Any time that you have a group of players led by him and another one of our captains Josh Buck, who just all love practicing, it’s very fun to be around that environment.
“We’ve won a lot of games with him. In terms of watching him grow, he’s grown not only as an athlete — each year growing a little stronger, a little quicker and understanding the game more — but the part I’m probably is being able to learn coverages, learn defenses and just learning the bigger aspect of the game. That progress is a little harder to watch to the average eye, but for us as a coaching staff, it’s just been fun to see him grow that way.”
Building off of his 8-2 junior campaign, Moore looks to go out with a bang in 2020.
“I’d say that my biggest goal of the year is to become a better leader and to take my team undefeated,” Moore said. “I know that’s what most people say, but I really believe that I can do that and I have a lot of faith and confidence in my team and their abilities. I’d say take it one week at a time and go 1-0 every week.”
Moore is the second football athlete in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association to commit in as many days, as Archbishop Spalding’s Zakee Wheatley committed to Penn State on Friday afternoon.