‘It’s his turn’; U-High looks toward LSU LB commit Keylon Moses to lead way

by: William Weathers // GeauxPreps.com Contributor

University High linebacker Keylan Moses learned plenty from his older brother’s well-publicized recruiting process where the former Parade National Player of the Year opted to leave his home state and sign with Alabama.

Often not far in the background, and a lot of times in the publicity photo shoots with his brother during a campus visit, a young Keylon soaked it all in, looking closely at the scrutiny surrounding his brother Dylan and wondered how his own process would play out one day.

Eight years later Keylon Moses, a lightning-fast, instinctual 6-foor-3, 220-pound linebacker, is also the envy of many of the nation’s top college programs who announced seven months ago decided he would attend LSU, remaining on the same campus he’s been since kindergarten.

“I had that planned already,” Moses said. “It’s a relief not to have to worry about anything. It’s just playing football now. I don’t have to worry about any schools. The process is stressful. I don’t have to worry about anything but playing football and my team. That’s the fun part about it.”

While Dylan was the prototypical middle linebacker with the ability to play in the NFL before an ACL injury in college has proven burdensome, Keylon’s versatility has been on display since entering University’s program four years ago.

He’s played a variety of roles from linebacker, outside linebacker, defensive end and corner in an effort for the Cubs to keep the opposition guessing, and have one their best defensive players able to impact the game from different parts of the field.

It will be no different this season when University (11-2) tries to win its first Division III select state championship since Moses’ freshman year.

“That’s what we’re hoping for,” U-High football coach Andy Martin said. “It’s his turn to step up and be that guy. That’s what we’re looking for in his maturity and composure in a game. He’s been in a lot of big games for us.

“We’re looking for him to take the reins on some of these guys,” Martin said. “We have a very mature team with a lot of guys that have been playing for a while. This is the year we’ve kind of been looking forward to, so we’re hoping he’s the key to that.”

A muscle pull in his back, while lifting last month, has temporarily sidelined Moses from lifting this month, along with his participation team’s 7-on-7 play in the Robert Graves Metro Baton Rouge 7-on-7 Summer League.

He anticipates a return in the four-week 30-team league that provides defensive players such as Moses with ample opportunity to sharpen their coverage skills.

“I’m not rushing to get back,” Moses said. “I can’t afford to get hurt. I have to make sure I’m 100% for the season.”

Moses has equally as much promise as U-High this upcoming season. The Cubs, who face four Class 5A teams such as Catholic-Baton Rouge, Archbishop Rummel and St. Paul’s in the first five weeks of the season, lost to eventual Division III state champions St. Charles Catholic in the state semifinals.

“I know as a senior I’ve got to play a huge part in leading these guys,” Moses said. “I’m going to play my part and lead by example. I’m going to lead these guys and be a visual for them, while being a vocal leader.

“I can’t go out there and try and win it for everybody, but we’ll have everybody on the same page and same path,” Moses said. “I’m going to do what I can, continue to work and give every day 110%. This is my last year. I’ve got to give it my all. I have to give it my all.”

Moses cleared the deck of any potential distractions the recruiting process can provide, picking LSU on his birthday last November, where he had established relationships with head coach Brian Kelly and recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson.

It didn’t hurt two months later Kelly totally revamped his defensive staff to include defensive coordinator Blake Baker, who first offered Moses his freshman year, and defensive backs coach Corey Raymond, who Moses is related to.

“It was a pretty hard choice,” said Moses, who plans to enroll at LSU next summer. “There’s a lot of schools that I could have gone to. I’m blessed for the opportunity to have a chance to go to those schools, but it came to a simple question: Why do you guys want me so bad?

“Everybody answered the same way as I am as a leader, the way I bring people toward me,” Moses said. “I’m a great leader. I’m a great player. With LSU it was the family aspect of it.”

Moses understood Kelly’s offseason purge of the defensive staff. The Tigers ranked last or near the bottom of the Southeastern Conference in most of the major team categories, necessitating a change.

“I knew the staff was going to have a significant change,” he said. “I didn’t know who the coaches were going to be, I didn’t know what was going to happen. I knew coach BK (Kelly) was going to have a plan and I trusted him.

“Usually, the standard is having a good defense and an even better offense,” he said. “We lacked in a lot of areas last year. They didn’t look like or live up to the standard and significant changes had to be made, and that’s the way it had to be.”

The commitment of the four-star Moses – the nation’s No. 114 overall player, No. 5 linebacker and No. 3 prospect in Louisiana according to Rivals.com, hasn’t deterred several schools such as Texas A&M, Oregon, Texas from Colorado continuing to make its pitch and try to secure an official visit.

Moses has scheduled an official visit this weekend to Texas A&M.

“Schools are still fighting and I’m letting them do their job,” he said. “I’m still talking to these coaches and my recruitment’s still open. They’re just doing their job.”

Martin plans for Moses to remain a two-way threat for U-High, playing both running back and linebacker.

He enjoyed his best season on defense a year ago with 69 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and nine sacks.

“We moved him down the line last year and backed him up (off defensive line) a little, put him in different spots,” Martin said. “We’ll do the same thing this year. He can do different things for us. We want our best players on the field as much as we can get him.”

Moses rushed for a career-best 614 yards and 10 TDs in 2022 and has registered 151 tackles with 44 stops for loss and 22 sacks. He had 309 yards and 7 scores on 58 attempts in ’23.

Moreover, he’s got four career blocked kicks and three fumble recoveries, an example of his disruptive nature on the field.

“When I committed, I said I could be a neighborhood hero,” Moses said. “I’m a guy from Baton Rouge that’s been on this campus for 12 years and will be for the next four years. That means something to me. I’m going to be on that field playing all out and doing whatever it takes. From here, I’m representing my city and state.”