Elijah Moore believes things happen for a reason.
The Class of 2018 receiver from St. Thomas Aquinas may have gotten caught up in a numbers game in 2016, but the 5-foot-10, 175-pounder just did his job and learn, without saying a word.
While it is frustrating for many athletes in the nation to be in a situation where the only control you have is to play hard and hope for the best, Moore's reward could come in 2017 – and that's fine with him.
One of the many stars on hand for the Rivals Camp Series, which rolled into Miami-Dade County at Ives Park over the weekend, Moore was indeed the center of attention – among hundreds of elite football players.
"The way I look at this past season is our team won, I learned so much and it set me up for my senior year," Moore explained. "Look at the receivers we had on our team last year, and just to get the playing time I did was a huge honor and a plus for my career."
While Moore puts things into perspective, there are others who won't hide their feelings for a player who has proven that his skill level is as good as anyone you will find.
Sly Johnson, who has headed up Premier Athletes for over a decade, and in that time, he has had the opportunity to work with elite prospects at the receiver position. During those years, standouts from all over South Florida flocked to him for his knowledge and passion of teaching the "craft" of the game.
"There are very few players I have had the pleasure of coaching that were the total receiving package that Elijah is," Johnson said. "He runs as a good a pass pattern as you will find. His speed is impressive and his hands are elite – as he continues to show – with the catches he comes up with."
"This year you can go to a game and watch a lot of receivers doing their thing, but unless you watch Elijah Moore play, you are going to see someone who brings it all to the table, and in the opinion of many, is the best in a very, very talented area, Johnson added."
AMAZING TALENT FILLS CAMP
Moore certainly continues to turn heads at every 7-on-7, combine and camp he attends. Last weekend, Rivals knew that a trip to South Florida would indeed bring out the best – and not just one prospect.
Several top-flight football players attended the camp to showcase their abilities. While there are so many testing combines, at least Rivals changed things up – hosting a combine one day, and then bringing a smaller group for a camp the next.
As we do year round, watching many of these prospects live, has given us a unique perspective and play a huge role when we are doing our rankings. Here is a look at some of event's head-turners:
2018 – Kevin Austin, WR, Coconut Creek North Broward Prep: After watching this gifted football player for the past two years, there is little doubt that he is indeed one of the best around. Austin is big, strong, quick and has been getting offers from numerous schools.
2018 – Al Blades, Jr., CB, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas: No matter what event he attends, this gifted young man usually walks away with an award and plenty of recognition. There are few who love the game as much as Blades does.
2018 – Christopher Carter, TE. Homestead South Dade: Hidden in South Miami-Dade County, Carter is one of those talented football prospects who continues to get plenty of attention and improve every week. He is a very hard worker who has a passion for the game.
2019 – Curt Casteel, QB, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas: By now, you already know that this is going to be one of the top football players is South Florida over the next few years. Even though he has never started a varsity football game, scouts and coaches are projecting his brilliant future. Casteel has earned MVP honors at quite a few events he has attended.
2018 – Carlton Cleophat, LB, Pompano Beach Blanche Ely: Yet another reason why this region of the country is so special. Until this quality football player started attending events and getting his film out, very few paid attention. Now, he is going to be one of those impressive athletes to keep an eye on all year. Cleophat is a great athlete.
2018 – Jeremiah Coleman, RB, Hollywood South Broward: Being in an area like South Florida is good and bad. Good because you get recognized nearly every week. Bad because of the number of prospects that are playing. But if you've watched Coleman play, you understand that this could be one of the best backs in Florida – and that's the great part of recruiting.
2018 – James Cook, RB, Miami Central: We have talked about this quality football talent since his youth football days, and haven't stopped since. After reclassifying from 2019 to 2018, this FSU commitment is destined to follow in the footsteps of his brother, Dalvin.
2019 – Tecory Couch, CB, Hollywood-Chaminade Madonna: Yet another of the elite football prospects the Lions have on their roster. Couch is quick and very instinctive. He could be a player that everyone will be keeping an eye on over the next two years. Couch is the real deal and he has already proven it.
2019 – John Dunmore, WR, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons: One of the top young receivers in South Florida, we have kept our eye on his progress at Chaminade-Madonna, Fort Lauderdale and this past season with the Chiefs. If Dunmore puts it all together, this is going to be one special football player.
2019 – Mark Fox, OL, Miami Northwestern: One of the most talented line prospects in Florida for the Class of 2019, Fox has passed so many tests in his first year of varsity football. College coaches love what they see – and it is only going to get better.
2018 – Donovan Georges, LB, Hialeah Champagnat Catholic: Since he was an eighth grader, all eyes have been on his game. Georges is an incredible athlete who combines size, speed and a gift of knowing how to play the position.
2018 – Robert Hicks, LB, Miami Central: From Norland to Booker T. Washington and now with the Rockets, Hicks is someone who has really blazed a trail that a lot of players and coaches have watched and appreciated. From his outside position and defensive end spot, to the middle, this is a very a physical player.
2018 – D.J. Ivey, DB, Homestead South Dade: No matter how you slice it, here is one of the best defensive backs in the state of Florida. While his commitment to the University of Miami certainly cemented his status, Ivey's play on the field continues to back it up.
2019 – Mikel Anthony Jones, LB, Hialeah Gardens Mater Academy: This is a football player who was a hit before he arrived in high school. Since then, his stock continued to rise. Jones is a very impressive football player that has everything to be great. Just needs to remain healthy and make the most of his chances. His future is very bright.
2018 – Patrick Joyner, DE, Homestead South Dade: Nobody has to tell you about this productive playmaker. Joyner's tremendous quickness, strength and great size has elevated his stock and put him in the same conversation as many of the elite players.
2018 – Antquan Kinsey, Miami High: From the beginning at Miami High and then on to Booker T. Washington and back to play for the Stingarees again, this is someone who really made a huge impression. Kinsey is one of the top playmakers in South Florida – without question.
2019 – Dontae Lucas, OL, Miami High: One of the nation's top big men continue to impress after showcasing his skills this past year for Booker T. Washington. Lucas' move to Miami High will be followed by dozens of colleges and recruiting analysts going to the heart of Miami to see where his career goes.
2018 – Jalen Mackie, LB, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas: With all the talent the Raiders have on the roster – especially on defense – this is certainly someone who has the opportunity to have a huge season. Mackie is quick, athletic and passionate about the game.
2018 – Demetreius Mayes, Jr., DE, Miami Northwestern: One of the players that blew up more than anyone in the offseason, and this MVP candidate has embraced the attention. No matter where goes, Mayes has turned up the talent level and colleges are certainly paying attention.
2018 – Derrick Nicholson, 5-11, 190, LB, Miami Northwestern: Yet another versatile defensive football prospect who is talented enough to play safety, but strong, aggressive and skilled enough to play linebacker. Nicholson is certainly going to be vital to the Bulls' success in 2017. He is another MVP candidate the Bulls have on the roster.
2018 – Kayode Oladele, DE, Miami Edison: Before you ever watch this gifted football player perform, you are sold by what he looks like. Yet another elite Red Raider, Oladele continues to learn the game and impress everyone.
2019 – Daniel Richardson, QB, Miami Booker T. Washington. Coming up on his third year as a starter, this record-setting passer has now established himself as one of the elite quarterbacks around. He has tremendous field presence. Richardson is working hard to get his Tornadoes back to the state championships.
2018 – Tyrik Robinson, LB, 5-10, 210, Hialeah Champagnat Catholic: Yet another football talent that is way under the radar. Robinson is a true football player who is always around the ball, making plays. Coach Dennis Marroquin has singled Robinson out many times as a leader.
2018 – Eric Scott, DL, 6-0, 270, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna: There are several prospects in South Florida who are truly flying beneath the radar screen. This may the biggest and best. Strong, quick, agile and very athletic, Scott gives the Lions another big-time force in the middle. He came in from Archbishop McCarthy.
2019 – Joshua Sanguinetti, S, Fort Lauderdale University School: Easily one of the fastest-rising prospects in South Florida, this talented football prospect has turned a lot of heads in the offseason, and as Sanguinetti heads toward his junior season, every college in the country will continue to watch his amazing progress.
2018 – Delone Scaife, OL, Miami Southridge: From the first time we saw this University of Miami commitment play, there was never any question to how talented and savvy he is top front. Scaife, who transferred from Miami Killian, continues to earn MVP honors at just about every event he attends. Already nominated for The Opening this summer in Oregon.
2018 – Rocky Shelton, LB, 6-0, 208, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas: What more can you say about a player who has been the heart and soul of this tremendous defense the past two years – while winning state titles along the way. Very gifted athlete that owns the stat sheets. He is always around the ball, being that ultimate team player.
2019 – Keontra Smith, S, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna: The Lions' secondary is not only one of the best in the area, it should be – for at least the next two years – one of the best in the whole state. Smith will lead the way for a unit that is as talented as you will find. He is another piece of the puzzle that will get this team back to Orlando.
2018 – Shaun Shivers, RB, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna: Speed to burn, talent to showcase and a great attitude for the game, Shivers is as passionate a player as you will find. He van take over a game with his blazing speed and instincts. Headed to Auburn after this next season is completed, his career is going to be fun to watch.
2018 – Ivan Thomas, WR, Miami Palmetto: For the past two seasons, this is receiver who has been a show-stopper. Thomas is big, physical, quick and a talented route runner. There is no doubt that he will be one of the top pass-catchers in South Florida for the 2017 season.
2018 – Dominick Watt, WR, Hollywood McArthur: One of the top five receivers in South Florida, here is another MVP caliber athlete who continues to pick up offers and plenty of interest. Watt has size, speed and is crazy talented.
2018 – C.J. Williams, LB, 5-10, 212, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna: Have watched the progress of this talented football prospect the past two seasons, and this is the year that he will put it all together. Williams is very talented and has been a very reliable talent.
2018 – Xavier Williams, WR, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna: While many athletes who have already impressed colleges with their play tend to put things in cruise control, this Alabama commit continues to play the game like he has no offers at all. Everyone is looking for a big time 2017 season from Williams.
2018 – Divaad Wilson, DB, Miami Northwestern: It has been a very productive year for this University of Florida commitment. Transferring from Monsignor Pace to play for the Bulls has earned him plenty of attention from all over the country. Wilson is physical and talented, and his best years area ahead.
2019 – Nayquan Wright, RB, Miami Carol City: When you are an elite player, things that you do are watched by all. Wright is one of the best in the country. He is indeed a special talent and everyone appreciates what he brings to the game.
PROSPECTS TO REMEMBER
Check these gifted athletes out:
2018 – Marvin Alexander, WR, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna
2019 – Myles Bell, CB, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas
2018 – Arthur Brathwaite, LB, Miami Central
2019 – Samuel Brooks, DE, Miami Northwestern
2018 – Alonzo Clark, WR, Fort Lauderdale
2018 – Craig Cooper, RB, Miami Norland
2018 – Michael Cox, QB, Miami Southridge
2018 – Jeremiah Coleman, RB, Hollywood South Broward
2020 – Amari Daniels, RB, Miami Central
2019 – Rayne Tanega Doster, S, Hialeah Gardens Mater Academy
2018 – Lamont Finnie, Athlete, Miami Edison
2018 – Johnny Ford, RB, Miami Booker T. Washington
2018 – Gregory Franklin, LB, Miami Southridge
2020 – Anton Hall, Jr., S, Miami Gulliver Prep
2018 – Ron Hardge, Jr., CB, Cardinal Gibbons
2018 – Davoan Hawkins, DE, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna
2018 – Dawson Hill, RB, South Plantation
2018 – Chandler Jones, DB, Miami Central
2019 – Kamran Kadivar, QB, Fort Lauderdale Westminster Academy
2018 – Tavares Kelly, WR, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas
2018 – Brandon Lee, WR, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons
2018 – Lentivone Lesane, RB, Hialeah Gardens Mater Academy
2018 – Ricky Malcolm, WR, Weston Cypress Bay
2019 – Ricky McKnight, WR, Miami Edison
2018 – Aaron Morgan, DT, Miami Carol City
2020 – Kalani Norris, WR, Miami Christopher Columbus
2018 – Desmond Pete, DE/DT, Pompano Beach Blanche Ely
2018 – Teriq Phillips, WR, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas
2018 – D'Andre Ragin, DE, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas
2019 – Gregory Reddick, S, Miami Booker T. Washington
2019 – Courtney Reese, RB, Miami Southridge
2018 – Bryand Rincher, CB, Sunrise Piper
2018 – Carlos Sandy, WR, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons
2019 – Nik Scalzo, QB, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons
2019 - Tyler Scott, DB, Fort Lauderdale University School
2018 – Cam Smith, QB, Plantation American Heritage
2018 – Eric Smith, DB, Miami Norland
2018 – Jesse Smith, LB, Sunrise Piper.
2018 – Teshaun Smith, CB, Davie Western
2019 – T.J. Smith, QB, Hollywood South Broward
2018 – Blake Veargis, WR, Miami Norland
2018 – Darnell Vickers, DB, Miami Central
2018 – Rachad Wildgoose, CB, Miami Northwestern
2018 – Maxwell Worship, S, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons
2020 – Will Wynn, QB, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons
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