A late offer from Cal in the 2021 class was big for Ieremia Moore. His contact with Cal started over a year ago, trailed off as Cal filled up their class, and came roaring back in the aftermath of signing day, as the Bears want Moore to be the topper for their 2021 class.
“It was probably around this time last year,” Moore said of when contact started with Cal, “it was during one of the offseason workouts, I didn’t have the opportunity to play during the season, it was an opportunity for me to get prepared for the upcoming season. Coach AT, the running backs coach, he was there and he spotted me, got my number and my contacts, we first got in touch there. My relationship with (Cal) was kind of in and out, because they were building their class of ’21. I’m not too sure what happened, if they were set already, but after signing day they hit me up again. They reevaluated their class and decided they needed another D-lineman, another edge rusher, and the other day, coach Browning gave me a call, they had another scholarship in, and I was blessed to receive the opportunity.”
Moore is an interesting case, as he moved from New Zealand to southern California in September of 2019. He moved without his parents, and because of that, he was unable to play in the 2019 season (due to CIF bylaws).
Moore was set to step onto the field for the first time a whole calendar year later, but in the wake of a pandemic postponing football in the state, he hasn’t been able to play in a football game. Moore has plenty of experience playing rugby, but on-field football has had to wait, as the 6’4″ 265 lb defensive lineman has had to learn a new game.
“The contact part is pretty similar,” Moore said of adjusting to football, “but as a defensive lineman or outside linebacker, it’s very different in the sense that d-linemen are taught to bend, use their hands. It’s like mixing boxing or some sort of fighting into using the running skills as well. Speed and explosiveness is a lot more essential as well in playing football. In transitioning, at first it was very tough for me, but over the past year I think I’ve picked it up quite well.”
In the meantime, Moore has been practicing with St. John Bosco, as they await any sort of season in California. He’s developing his skills on the defensive line, as the Bears are targeting him as an edge player.
“They really like the combination of my size and athleticism,” Moore noted, “I’m probably on the bigger side for an outside linebacker, but they believe that I have the right traits to rush off the edge, set the edge, make the plays they need me to make, and I think what they like most is not just the versatility or me playing outside linebacker, defensive end, and 3-tech, but that the best football is still ahead of me, and the only way I’m going to be able to reach that is by working hard, working my butt off. They think they can help me reach that and want to develop me into the player that can make those plays in the future.”
Moore also has a point of contact in Lone Toailoa, who has talked to him about his experience at Cal, having had a similar experience in coming to the states from New Zealand to play football.
“I’ve been in contact with Lone,” Moore noted, “I’ve never met him (in person), but he’s a great guy. I’ve talked to him and he’s given me some guidance. I’m happy for him and I hope he can have a crack at the league. I appreciate the guidance he’s given me with us both being from New Zealand and what it would be like for me if I was to decide to go to Cal.”
Commitment time is coming up shortly for Moore, who would make for a big late addition to the Bears 2021 class.