published Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Signal Mountain's Harrison Moon a shining football star drawing big-time interest

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    Signal Mountain's Harrison Moon is getting a lot of attention from college recruiters, mostly as an offensive tackle, but he also has played tight end for the Eagles.
    Photo by Doug Strickland.
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As a rising sophomore, Harrison Moon attended his first college football camp at Oklahoma. He was the only one at the camp invited to coach Bobby Stoops' office.

Now a junior at Signal Mountain, Moon is receiving upwards of 50 letters from various college football programs, many of which are in the latest Top 25 polls. One day he received letters from 37 people in Vanderbilt program. He has had sit-downs with the likes of Alabama coach Nick Saban and was at the Crimson Tide's victory over LSU last Saturday night.

Moon is a big and versatile player and has worn three different numbers (44, 77, 41) as he bounced from tight end to offensive tackle. He even changed jerseys at halftime a couple of weeks ago so he could move from tackle to tight end. Some college coaches see the 6-foot-5, 265-pounder as a tight end, but most like him as a quick-footed offensive tackle.

"He's a tackle at the next level," one recruiter said. "He's got the frame to put on the weight and he's got the mobility to play the left tackle position. It will be an easy transition for him. He has the body type, the natural athletic ability you can't coach. He could put on 20-30 pounds and not even look like he's put on weight."

Position matters not to Moon.

"I catch here, I block there. Whatever they want me to do, whatever gets me to college," he said Monday afternoon. "I'm interested in whoever is interested in me."

Signal coach Bill Price said Moon already has offers from Vandy, Ole Miss, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, "and Georgia Tech was here last week and they're going to offer."

It doesn't end there, by any means. Moon is averaging 10 letters per week from Tennessee, and he's also hearing from most of the other Southeastern Conference teams along with UCLA, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Syracuse.

Moon and his Signal Mountain teammates advanced to the second round of the TSSAA's Class 4A playoffs last week with a victory over Marshall County, and they'll host Knoxville Catholic this Friday. All TSSAA playoff games begin at 7 p.m. local time, and admission is $8 per person.

Moon is sure to draw special attention this week from Catholic coaches as they prepare for the Eagles.

"He can play any position on the offensive line. He's just an athletic kid. We've played him on defense, too -- at end and at tackle," said Price, who has high regard for Moon because he has the academics, the athletic ability and the right mindset.

"He'll have an opportunity, if he continues to mature physically, to not only play in college but the level after that," the coach said.

Price moved Moon to tackle seven games into the season, when the Eagles lost three offensive linemen to injury. They then moved him back to tight end for the second half of the Week 10 game at Sequatchie County when Hunter VanDyken, who'd taken over the position, was injured. Moon was scrambling to change jerseys (to No. 41) as the team trotted out for the third quarter.

"You can plug him in a lot of places because he's that big, strong kid that solidifies our lines," Price said. "He's 260 pounds right now, but he's got the frame for 315-320."

Contact Ward Gossett at wgossett@timesfreepress.com or 423-886-4765.

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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