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Countryside OT Tyler Moore, one of the country’s most heralded juniors, says he loves competing against the best.
“I always want that challenge,” Moore said.
This week, he’ll get his wish.
When Moore’s Cougars play host to nationally ranked Plant on Friday in the third round of the Class 5A playoffs, the 6-foot-6, 290-pound tackle is likely to go head-to-head against junior DE James Wilder Jr., who like Moore is considered an elite prospect.
Based on current buzz from various recruiting Web sites, it wouldn’t be a shock if each ends up being a five-star recruit next year. Earlier this fall, Scout.com, one of the country’s most well-known recruiting sites, named both players to its list of the best 100 junior football players.
Moore already has committed to Nebraska (where his father played), choosing the Cornhuskers over programs such as Florida, Florida State, Miami, Ohio State and Stanford.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Wilder, son of Buccaneers legend James Wilder Sr., already has about 30 scholarship offers, including ones from Florida, Tennessee and LSU. Southern California is another school that has shown serious interest.
Typically, opposing teams have lined up their top defensive end on the opposite side of the field from Moore, Countryside coach John Davis said. But Moore, who anchors arguably the area’s best offensive line, doesn’t think that will happen Friday.
And he’s cool with that.
“I’m really hoping to go against someone of my caliber,” Moore said.
If anyone is up to the task, it might be Wilder.
He leads a dominant Plant defense with 16 sacks.
“He’s really a great athlete,” Moore said.
Here are some highlights of Wilder in action: