The 2019 Rice football recruiting class has its first commitment. Defensive end Justin Moore pledged himself to the Owls in early April.
Mike Bloomgren was introduced as the head coach at Rice in early December, a few days before the inaugural early signing period. Six players signed with his staff in December and the Owls added 12 more signees on National Signing Day in February – a full class, but one that came together over the span of weeks rather than months. The 2019 class will make the first year cycle that Bloomgren has charge of from start to finish.
Bloomgren has his first commitment of that 2019 class — Justin Moore of Trinity Christian Academy committed to Rice on April 4. The 6-foot-3, 240 pound defensive end chose Rice over offers from Arkansas State, Louisiana Monroe and Texas State.
I would like to officially announce that I am verbally COMMITTING to continue my athletic and academic career at the one and only Rice University! 🔵🦉⚫️⭐️🏈@RiceFootball @RiceOwlsFB @CFBCCalhoun @mbloom11 @ScottVestal @Coachblsmith pic.twitter.com/QtV5NUhaDZ
— Justin Moore (@bigmoore00) April 5, 2018
247 Sports rates Moore as a 2-star recruit, although he isn’t ranked on their composite index. Since one service has him ranked there’s a chance he could wind up on other services down the road. Even if other recruiting services haven’t given him much love, a few other big programs have. Since his commitment, Air Force and Texas Tech have offered Moore but he’s still locked in to his original pledge to the Owls.
This will be a good test for Bloomgren’s recruiting prowess. Hailed as an ace recruiter, can Bloomgren keep a coveted player in the fold when another D1 school in the state comes knocking? Texas Tech was the first, but others could soon follow if Moore produces on the field during his senior season.
If Bloomgren is able to convince Moore to stick around he’ll have his first building block on the defensive line for the 2019 class. Rice needs to find someone to take over for the departed Brian Womac, who signed has since signed with the Los Angeles Rams. The quick, yet powerful edge rusher out of Addison, Tx is raw, but flashes plenty of intriguing potential.