Maybe it was growing up so close to the Texas campus that made him the way he is, but there’s no hiding the fact that Chet Moss developed a love for all things Longhorn long before he committed in February. The Cedar Park standout is so locked into being a Longhorn that he’s basically become the unofficial class president of Texas’ 2011 recruiting class and has asserted himself as a leader among his peers.
Moss, a 6-foot-2, 235-pounder rated by ESPN as one of the nation’s top 15 inside linebacker prospects, describes himself as a people person and when you
combine his personality and his passion to see the Texas football program
succeed at the highest level, it’s pretty easy to see why Moss has taken on a
unique role within the class.
When prospects travel long distances to come to Austin
for various functions the door at Moss’ home is open to any and all future
Longhorns. Moss also showed up at the Feb. 13 Junior Day, one day after he made
his commitment to Texas, to try and do some recruiting of his own as the Texas
coaches assembled what has now become the nation’s top recruiting class
according to ESPN Recruiting.
Moss also keeps the lines of communication open with just
about all of Texas’ 2011 commitments be it through text messaging or social
networking on Facebook and when you ask any Longhorn pledge who among the
members of the class they keep in contact with, Moss’ name is usually at the
top of the list.
Knowing that these are the people he’ll be spending most
of his time with during his college years, Moss said it’s a role is comfortable
taking on in helping build camaraderie within the class.
“It’s a cool spot I’m in because I like building
relationships with people,” Moss said. “I love this class we’ve put together.
These are the guys I’m going to be spending the next four years with so I
really want to get to know them now.
“It’s just cool to be able to talk with people who have
the same goals and aspirations that you do,” Moss added. “By what we do we’ve separated
ourselves from our peers in a way and I try and associate myself with people
who have the same mindset and the same goals that I have.”
It was his most recent trip to the Texas campus where
Moss was able to connect with some of his future teammates during the Longhorns’
June 6 minicamp. Fellow linebacker commits Steve Edmond of Daingerfield and
Kendall Thompson of Carthage both talked about the joy of getting to work with
one another and Moss echoed those sentiments.
“It was pretty hot that day but we really got after it,”
Moss said. “I felt like I did my best to push them and I know they pushed me
all day long. It was one of those days where there was a lot of encouragement
among us but at the same time there was good competition, so really it was a
There was also plenty of time for Moss to visit with his
future teammates and he did plenty of that before and after the workout.
“It was just a great experience from start to finish,”
Moss said. “During check-in we were all just hanging out in the lounge and we
got a chance to talk and laugh it up. Its times like that were you really get
to build relationships with each other because there’s only so much you can say
in a text message, so I did my share of mingling.”
All three linebackers received very good reviews when the
word came out about which recruits had the best camp performances and Moss
noted that all three future Longhorns’ picked up their games due in large part
to the presence of Will Muschamp.
Even Moss, who is a regular unofficial visitor to the
Texas campus, hadn’t had the chance to work with Muschamp prior to the camp and
Moss said it really gave him and the other linebacker commits a glimpse of what’s
to come down the road.
“I really went in with the mindset of wanting to get an
idea of what it’s like to really play for coach Muschamp,” Moss said. “It was
cool to see how he coaches and how correlated the drills we were doing to what
we’ll be doing when we’re playing for him. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”
When Moss and the rest of the members of Texas’ 2011 recruiting
class finally suit up for Muschamp they will be entering a vastly different Big
12 Conference. Like many of Texas’ recruits Moss kept a close eye to the
television during the recent conference realignment situation, but also like many
recruits Moss was left largely unfazed by the end of recent events that will
likely have the Big 12 functioning as a 10-team conference at the start of the
“I was surprised because I didn’t want the Big 12 to
break up. I’ve always wanted to play in the Big 12,” Moss said. “The Big Ten,
the SEC and the Pac-10 all bring different things to the table. The more I
thought about it, it would have been fun to go out to California and play other
teams on the West Coast, or go up to play Penn State or Ohio State, or play
Florida or LSU.
“I trusted that the people making the decisions would make
the best decision for the university,” Moss added. “We’re going to dominate no
matter where we go, so really it didn’t matter in the big picture because I see
us dominating for a while.”
While Moss can’t wait for his career as a Longhorn to
begin, he’s still got one year of high school football left and it just so
happens that the expectations may have never been bigger at Cedar Park than
they will be in 2010.
The Timberwolves and coach Chris Ross will have a
talented squad this fall and the drop down to Class 4A has drummed up many
opinions that this could be a year when the Timberwolves make a deep playoff
run . It won’t be easy as they share a district with three-time defending state
champion Lake Travis and Moss said despite the expectations that local media
and fans might put on the team, nobody expects more from the Timberwolves than
the players and coaches themselves.
“Our ultimate goal is to win a state championship and
that’s what we are focused on,” Moss said. “It’s not about making it a few
round in the playoffs, or winning a district championship, or beating Lake
Travis – none of that is really going to matter unless we accomplish our
ultimate goal at the end.”
Teamwork and chemistry go a long way toward making a
state championship ball club, and with Moss in the defensive huddle the
Timberwolves certainly have someone capable of showing them the right way to