March 31, 2012

Chicago teammates talk Western Michigan

Simeon High School in Chicago, Ill. had a successful 2011 football season, going 10-3, and now a pair of seniors-to-be are garnering interest from Western Michigan as well as a host of other schools. Both were in town for the Broncos' first spring scrimmage Saturday morning, and had good things to say about the campus and program.

Kendall Moore is a 6-foot-5, 265 pound offensive tackle and rated three stars by Rivals.com. Moore already has one offer from Illinois, but is not playing favorites and enjoyed what he saw at WMU.

"I liked the campus, it was a little different from what I've seen before, but I really like it," Moore said.

Moore also cited the pace of the practice as a positive, and it seemed as though he'd be right at home. He indicated that Simeon High School runs a similarly intense and uptempo practice, something that he enjoys.

All through his recruitment, Moore has stressed that a family atmosphere is important, and he reiterated that following his visit to WMU.

"I want a nice team and a family," Moore said. "Win or lose, whether you mess up or you don't, they always have your back."

As for himself as a player, Moore would like to add size and strength before taking his game to the next level, but feels that mobility and quickness are an asset that should help as he adds on weight. In addition to the offer from Illinois, Moore has been hearing from West Virginia, Missouri, Western Kentucky, Iowa, Iowa State, Ball State, Eastern Michigan, and WMU. He plans to visit Iowa in the near future.

Western Michigan is also very interested in Simeon tight end John Gardner, a 6-foot-4, 200 pound pass catching prospect. Gardner traveled together with his Moore, his friend and teammate, and came away with a similar impression.

"I liked the way the practice was run," Gardner said. "It was intense, it was fast paced, there was a lot of contact going on too, and I like that," Gardner said.

Gardner said that his past season was successful and that he had made huge strides in going from hardly playing as a sophomore to starting 13 games as a junior. He earned Honorable Mention All-City honors for his 2011 play.

Western Michigan would appear to be a good fit for the tight end, as his main concern is to find a school with a passing-oriented offense.

"I look for a school that gets the tight ends and receivers involved, throws the ball, just not a running school." Gardner said. "I'd like a school that has more than football, though, that can get me where I want to go, so I can have a career."

Gardner said he'd like to study either sports medicine or culinary arts in college. He has interest from Western Kentucky, Iowa State, Ball State, Illinois, Purdue, and Northern Illinois along with Western Michigan.

Speaking with both of the teammates, they are very interested in playing at the college level together, continuing a friendship that they have had long-term. Gardner indicated that this was something that has come up before between the two.

"We were talking about it today, actually. We'd like to go to the same school," Gardner said. "We already have that bond together, we've got a good relationship, so it's something to look into. There's a chance you can't control that, though."

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