Ole Miss’ success running the ball under coach Houston Nutt has led to another commitment from a high profile running back. West Bolivar’s Kailo Moore (5-foot-10, 190-pounds) gave his verbal pledge to become an Ole Miss Rebel on Monday, less than 48 hours after attending Ole Miss’ one-day football camp.
Moore is considered to be the state’s top rising junior and is expected to be rated as one of the best running backs in the nation his senior season in 2012 thanks to his combination of pure speed, cutting ability and power.
Moore ran for 2,298 yards and 32 touchdowns and could have finished with even more yards said his coach, Henry Johnson, if they kept him in the second half of games last year.
“He’s just a phenomenal runner. He has good size for a junior in high school. I think he can get up to 210, 215 (pounds) and still have all the speed that he has now,” Johnson said of Moore, who won last spring’s 100-meter dash in Class 2A with a time of 10.57 seconds. “He will be one of the top players in the state this time next year and maybe one of the best in the nation. Ole Miss and Mississippi State have both offered Kailo. Other schools have talked to him, sent him stuff, but he wants to stay in state, stay close to home.”
The feel Moore got from Oxford over the weekend had to have felt like a Homecoming.
His grandfather, Fast Freddie Williams, earned four letters under coach Steve Sloan from 1976-1979 as a running back and wide receiver, while his uncle also played for the Rebels, according to Johnson, who said Moore attended Ole Miss’ camp with his mother.
Johnson said Moore’s running style reminded him of Tennessee Titans standout Chris Johnson because of his straight line speed and ability to dodge defenders in traffic.
“Kailo is a legitimate 4.3 guy on a bad day. He is a fast guy that has size and . He’s not a verbal guy, but he gives 100 percent effort through his performance,” Johnson said, who added he had to decoy Moore from time to time in the offense. “We’re multiple on offense. We go four-wide, five-wide, some in the I-back. We’ve put Kailo in as a slot receiver, we move him around a lot because everyone is paying attention to where No. 5 is. We put him in spots to where we can use him to our advantage.”
When Moore isn’t tearing up opposing defenses, he’s making tackles on defense at free safety, a position Johnson thought he was also very good at.
“He’s a great free safety. He can run sideline-to-sideline. He closes on people so quickly because of his speed,” Johnson said. “He could be a free safety in college, but I think his most natural position is running back.” (July 26, 2011, Page 6)