Recently, I have been catching up with the high school coaches of Iowa State’s current commits in the 2021 recruiting class. On Wednesday, I had the chance to talk to Brian Woodley, who is the head football coach at Johnston High School and coaches recent ISU tight end commit Tyler Moore.
Moore caught 20 passes for 307 yards and four touchdowns for the Dragons, who finished the season 5-4. The 6-foot-5, 235-pound three-star made his pledge to the program just three days after receiving an offer from the Cyclones over offers from Central Florida, Eastern Michigan, New Mexico, Northern Iowa and a handful of other programs.
Check out Coach Woodley and I’s conversation in full below.
Q: How have you seen Tyler develop in your program over the last three years?
Woodley: “It’s kind of funny how if I look back at it a few years ago, No. 1, I’ve always known he was a pretty good athlete growing up watching him play little league baseball and some youth football. He finally gets into high school and his body, I’ve watched him over the last three years, really grow. He came in kind of like a string bean but had some talent. Freshman year, he plays freshman football. Then, it kind of came between that freshman year to sophomore year, he really started to thicken up a little bit more. He’s always been athletic and he plays baseball so I was kind of concerned at that time he wasn’t going to continue with football. We kind of brought him into the program and kind of explained to him the importance of being a multi-sport athlete. He kind of bought in and understood what I was talking about, but I was nervous we were going to lose him.”
“Sophomore year, we started him on the sophomore team and, eventually, he just kept having great practices and playing well in games to our evaluation as a varsity staff. We as a staff said, ‘Hey, he’s going against one of the best corners in the state in Anthony Coleman,’ who now is playing at North Dakota State, and he was doing great things against him in practice so we’re like, ‘Man, maybe this guy should be brought up to the varsity.’ It was about midway through sophomore year. We practice together anyway, but he was really shining.”
“Junior year would have been his second year of starting. We’re coming off a junior year where he was an outside receiver. He keeps maturing, he puts the time in and he works his tail off. He’s doing a great job. He’s played some time at outside receiver in high school and now as we move into his senior year, we’re looking at having him play some tight end with his hand on the ground.”
Q: His recruitment has been kind of a whirlwind considering he got his first offer just three weeks ago or so. How have you seen that play out?
Woodley: “Well, the main thing as far as Tyler and his recruitment is there’s a lot of schools that have showed some interest. Some MAC schools. They were kind of on him right at first. Coaches would call and they’d talk to me and I would project where I think he’s going to be and not where he’s at right now. They wanted some film on him and they watched him. A lot of coaches kept in contact with me through his progress after the season. He’s really bought into the process that it takes to play at the next level. I sat down and told him after the season that I see his future as a tight end and right then he was playing that x-receiver spot in high school. But, I told him, ‘If you’re really going to play at the next level, you’re going to have to make the commitment.'”
“This offseason, he’s really committed to the weight room and put some pounds and strength on. He’s got good speed for a tight end and he’s got good ball skills so I knew he’d fit in perfectly. Offensively, here at Johnston, schematically, I knew he was going to do that. I thought he could really help us. We’re kind of changing our stuff here at Johnston offensively. We’re going to look a lot different than we have the last three or four years with what we do schematically. He’s going to fit right in there and be our tight end more and more this fall. He’s really bought in. After football season, he was probably about 6-foot-5, 210-pounds. Now, I think he’s put on a good 20 or 25 pounds so he’s running around at about 6-foot-5, 235.”
“He does understand it’s going to be a new position. He was really anxious to get out there this spring and work on some blocking. He’s really tried to communicate with our offensive line coach. He’s just kind of a perfectionist. He just wants to hone his craft right now. He knows he has to be a better blocker because he hasn’t really been asked to do that. I told the coaches (who recruited him) that I think it’s like anything else, kids play quarterback in high school then go on to play linebacker in college. He will learn. He’s got the physical attributes and he’s a learner. He’s a go-getter. He’s committed. I think he’ll do good things when he goes to Iowa State.”
Q: What have your interactions been like with the Iowa State coaches?
Woodley: “It’s been outstanding. I know Coach Campbell and his staff have been on Tyler for a while. I think it’s just been deciding if he was going to be able to come and fit into their program nicely. They came and watched him work out. Coach Veidt, the linebackers coach, has been in and out quite a bit on the phone with Tyler and myself and doing all the things they can to stay on him. It’s been a process. I’ve been very happy with the interactions with Iowa State and their staff and how they’ve stayed on him and given him an opportunity. I think when Tyler gets the opportunity and gets to that level, he’s going to be a pretty dang good tight end.”
Q: Iowa State’s tight ends are a big piece of their offense and Tyler is in a similar mold to Charlie Kolar and Chase Allen. I know both of them played the outside receiver position in high school. Do you think seeing the way they’ve used those guys played a role in Tyler’s decision to go to Iowa State?
Woodley: “Yeah, I think that definitely was one of the factors. I remember back when Coach Campbell came to watch Tyler workout, he was looking at his body frame back in December and was commenting on how he looked like the Allen kid coming out of high school. (Allen) might be a little bit taller, but that played a huge role in it. They are recruiting kids to come in that were maybe tweeners on the outside and really good high school receivers, but the next level is a whole different game.”
“It’s about matchups and getting them in closer to the line of scrimmage to get them on safeties and linebackers. I think with his body type, he’s got pretty good speed. For Iowa State and what they’re doing offensively, that’s what they’re looking for in tight ends. Each program is different, every fit is different, but I think this is a good fit for Tyler. Not only athletically, but academically they meet a lot of needs that he likes. He’s a good student. He takes pride in his classwork just as much as he does sports. Those are things that make Tyler do what he does to be successful.”