DITR: Blake Moran, WR, St. Edmund High School (Eunice, LA)

Elite athleticism takes many forms. People love to talk about elite speed, elite strength, or elite size. But there is another kind of athleticism that doesn’t get nearly as much press that is just as valuable, and it’s the root of Blake Moran’s dominance as a wide receiver: agility.

Blake Moran is an agility monster, dominating any agility drill he participates in, and it is exemplified in the other sport he plays – baseball. He plays two positions in baseball, one of which being shortstop, a position generally reserved for only the most athletically agile on the team. It’s the same agility he uses to succeed as a shortstop that he uses as a wide receiver. Blake is an elite route running technician. His cuts in his routes show a level of polish that is rare for the high school level, and they allow him to run a much more complete and effective route tree than your average wide receiver. Specifically, he is able to win with double moves, a trait that doesn’t come packaged in a high school prospect often. It’s the complete package of his routes that allows him to separate at a high level.

That’s not to say he’s a slouch in other areas, either. He’s got every skill you need to be a great wide receiver. He’s a complete athlete, with impressive speed and physicality. Both of those make him a huge threat after the catch. He has the elusiveness (stemming from that elite agility) to shake the defender in front of him. He has the straight line speed to blow by a defender. He has the physicality to break arm tackles. Very few people have the same “make something out of nothing” tenacity that Moran possesses. He will catch a ball out of the flats, be dead to rights for a catch tackle for a small gain, and then out of nowhere he’ll find an impossible way out of the tackle with one of the many tools in his toolbox, maximizing the gain of yardage on that play.

That leaves how he plays at the catch point, which is just as strong as many of his other skills. The other position he plays in baseball is catcher, which requires a lot of concentration and hand eye coordination to play, as well as a toughness to stay in there and take a hit at the plate when needed. All of that is apparent anytime Moran makes a contested catch attempt. He will stay in there and go up for that ball no matter what is coming his way. A helmet coming right to his ribs? He’ll keep his hands on the ball. Two defenders going up for it at the same time as him? Doesn’t matter, he’ll win. An actual runaway freight train running onto the field coming directly towards him? He might end up in the hospital afterwards, but I’m sure he would come down with the ball somehow. No matter the circumstance, he will do everything he can to make the hard catch. 

He is 5’11” and 175, which isn’t huge, but he’s densely built and it shows in all facets of his game. Whether it is avoiding being knocked off his route, muscling through the catch he is making, or shedding a tackle from a safety, he plays bigger than his size. He has a 3.2 GPA, so you know he will put in the work to improve in any aspect of his game, and the intelligence to be able to do it. The kid’s got heart, and he also has the freakish agility to use it. He doesn’t have any offers yet, but the future is bright for Blake Moran.

What got you into football in the first place? What makes you love it?

I started playing when I was maybe 5 or 6 years old. My family is just big on Saints football and I’ve been watching ever since I was young and I’ve dreamt about being on the field.

You’re a two sport athlete. What position do you play in baseball and what skills do you take from that sport to apply to football?

I play catcher and shortstop. You have to keep the ball in front of you when you are a catcher. I think it translates to being a receiver, and it definitely helps with hand eye coordination for catching a football.

What is your biggest strength on the field?

My biggest strength is route running and getting separation to get open.

Which NFL player do you try to emulate the most with your own game?

I watch a lot of Justin Jefferson. When he runs his routes, he does it flawlessly. He is so quick off the ball and off his routes that he gets a certain amount of separation that allows him to get open and get those yards and receptions. That stands out to me, and it makes me want to be just like him.

What has been your biggest improvement to your game over the last couple years?

My catching ability. Last year, I made a few catches that your average receiver might not make. I’ve started to get really good at high pointing the ball and coming down with catches that are not really supposed to be made.

What has the recruiting process been like for you?

I haven’t had much exposure, but I plan to get some colleges to look at me. I do plan on going to the Randall Passing Academy in Baton Rouge this weekend to get some more exposure as well.

What are some goals for yourself and your team this year?

I just want to take the leadership role and lead my guys to being a whole group. I want us to keep our heads down and keep grinding and do as much as we can because I know our potential is there.

What do you do outside of practice to improve?

I spend a lot of time in the weight room and trying to eat healthy. My mind is always on sports.