FLS Varsity brings you the scores, stats and stories from Fredericksburg-area high school sports.
Chancellor OL Steven Moss commits to U.Va
By Taft Coghill Jr.
Chancellor High School offensive lineman Steven Moss had become one of the most sought-after recruits in recent memory in the Fredericksburg-area the past two years.
The junior right tackle racked up 21 scholarship offers from Football Bowl Subdivision schools, including heavyweights Florida State, Oklahoma and South Carolina.
Chargers assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Chris Lam said Moss visited “75 to 80 percent” of the schools that extended an offer.
On Saturday, Moss chose one when he orally committed to Virginia.
Moss attended the Cavaliers’ spring practice the past two days. He wanted his family with him when he committed to the program that has been his No. 1 choice for quite a while.
“I have always liked them,” Moss said. “I had been taking my time and going to all these colleges. I realized which one I liked and it was U.Va.”
Moss (6-foot-4, 270 pounds) is rated a four-star prospect by recruiting service Rivals.com. He’s considered the No. 89 player in the nation for the Class of 2014 regardless of position.
He began receiving scholarship offers his sophomore season. Former Virginia offensive coordinator Bill Lazor began recruiting him for the Cavaliers in 2012, but departed to the NFL in January.
Virginia offensive line coach Scott Wachenheim took over as Moss’ primary recruiter and was able to seal his commitment.
“Steven already had a relationship with him throughout the whole process,” Lam said of Wachenheim. “So he was able to jump right in and replace Coach Lazor.”
Moss has been a first-team all-Battlefield District selection the past two seasons. He was a first-team All-Area choice this past season as he helped the Chargers win the district title. Chargers head coach Bob Oliver said Moss is a “hardcore offensive lineman” and he’s thrilled he’ll remain in-state so his friends and family can watch him play.
“What you get from him is 100 percent effort all the time,” Oliver said. “I’m just glad he’s going to be a senior and he still has a year to play at Chancellor High School before he goes to U.Va.”
Cavaliers coach Mike London has had success lately on the recruiting trail. Last month, month he secured the services of Quin Blanding, a five-star safety from Virginia Beach.
Moss said London’s ability to attract other talented players played a role in his decision because “I like to be surrounded with players that have the same goal as me.”
He said the personable approach of Virginia’s coaching staff impressed him, as well.
“It just feels like home,” Moss said. “Here, I’m treated like I’m one of their sons and not just a piece on the depth chart.”
Lam said Moss was a key reason Chancellor senior running back Dominic Kaopua was able to become the area’s leading-rusher and the district player of the year. But he said his work ethic and leadership qualities were equally important to the Chargers.
“He’s a big, strong, physical kid,” Lam said. “The great thing is he’s worked his butt off more this year. He had been working hard all along but he hasn’t eased up. He’s been a good leader and a good role model for the younger kids.”
One of those younger players is Chancellor left tackle Matt Burrell. The sophomore holds scholarship offers from seven FBS schools, including Virginia and Virginia Tech.
Moss has mentored Burrell on the field and in the weight room. But Lam said he’s unsure how much of a role Moss will play in Burrell’s recruitment.
“Each kid is an individual and they have to make the best choices for themselves,” Lam said. “I don’t think it will have any effect on what Matt decides.”
Lam does hope Burrell handles the process as smoothly as Moss.
He credited Moss and his family for being proactive. Whenever a school offered a scholarship Moss visited as quickly as possible.
Lam said Moss’ family is “blessed to have the means to do that.”
“He took the recruiting process to another level that Chancellor has never seen before as far as not just getting the offers, but getting in his car and checking out all of these schools,” Lam said. “He did his homework. I don’t think there’s anybody that can say he didn’t take every step necessary to make the best decision possible.”