In many ways, Earl Moore says all the Division I college scholarship offers he has received in the last year have come in a rush. And at times, he says it can be a bit overwhelming.
But then the senior Hillsborough High nose guard thinks back to all the days he has spent in the weight room and the sweltering afternoons at football practice. That's when Moore is convinced the process has been slow and sure, no matter how many schools are seeking him.
"It feels like a fast process and it's exciting that all these schools want me, but I know I've worked real hard to get here," said the 6-foot-2, 280-pound Moore. "For me, all this didn't come overnight.''
Moore recently made a verbal commitment to the University of Miami during an unofficial visit to Coral Gables. But news about a decade-long scandal involving the Hurricanes has Moore and his parents seriously reconsidering his decision. Before making a move, he says they are taking a wait-and-see approach until the NCAA takes action against Miami.
In the meantime, he still plans to take an official visit there, as well as Cincinnati, South Florida, South Carolina and the school that made him his first offer, Florida State.
So how, besides hard work, did Moore get to this level? He tells younger players to take the talents they've been blessed with — whether it's speed, size, strength, agility or plain determination — and build on it.
Coming into his freshman year, Moore says he "didn't know a thing about football.'' He was just another guy on the junior varsity trying to get noticed. But by his sophomore season, he had moved up to the varsity, was getting stronger and, by before the year was over, a starter on the defensive line.
By the end of his sophomore season, Moore was a genuine college prospect. In fact, shortly after that school year ended, FSU became the first school to make him an official pitch.
Now that he has 11 Division I offers, it would be easy for Moore to kick back, take visits and prepare for the transition to college. But Moore says he has big goals for his senior year with the Terriers, including a return to the playoffs and, individually, reaching a new level of play.
"I feel like it's never enough,'' Moore said. "My motto is, "If you're good, get better.'' You can't take a break because there's always someone working harder than you.''