By LARRY VAUGHT
Maurice Douglas was glad to see Kentucky recruiting his son, defensive back Moses Douglas. However, the former UK defensive back and NFL veteran was not about to push his son to pick Kentucky.
If anything, Maurice Douglas went out of his way not to do anything to push his son to Kentucky.
“I just wanted to let him make his own decision,” said Maurice Douglas. “I didn’t want to push anything on him. My wife and I let him make his decision. I really wanted him to go to Wisconsin to be honest. I like what the coaches do there and how they develop kids. But the biggest thing for me was just to let him see for himself what was out there.”
The 6-2, 186-pound Moe Douglas found what he wanted — at Kentucky. He had scholarship offers from 31 schools including Alabama, Tennessee, Michigan and West Virginia. He is a top 300 player in the 2019 recruiting class — but he had no doubts about making his commitment to Kentucky after attending junior day in Lexington.
“He had always liked UK a little bit in part because I went there. He said that junior day trip was the best trip he had been on there — and he had been there four or five times before,” Maurice Douglas said. “He just liked it a whole lot and that really turned his views. His sister went with us and told him it was a great place for him.
“He loved it but it also depended on what his mother said. She was not there for junior day weekend. They (UK coaches) got on the phone, talked to her and got her down the following weekend by herself. She came down on a Friday and came back on Sunday because it snowed and she stayed an extra day. She saw the vision Stoops had and was sold on UK, too.”
Maurice Douglas coaches his son at Springfield (Ohio) High School. Before that he coached at Trotwood (Ohio) High School where he sent players to Michigan, Ohio State, Colorado, Pittsburgh and other Division I schools.
Maurice Douglas played at UK in 1983 and 1984 after transferring from Coffeyville (Kansas) Junior College. He was an eighth round draft pick of the Chicago Bears but played 11 years in the NFL for Chicago and then the New York Giants.
His son seems to be naturally gifted on the football field and, not surprisingly, has an amazing football IQ because he studies film often on his own.
“His sophomore year he got hurt in week two and did not play until the playoffs,” his father said. “He had nine weeks where he had nothing to do but watch film … and he did. This year every night before he went to sleep he watched film on his own. He has great play recognition.
“He’s a good cover guy. He can cover the slot receiver. He’s not nervous about doing that at all. He is strong and not afraid to tackle. He runs the 400 (meter dash) in track and also high jumps. He’s really a good athlete.”
Maurice Douglas was a headhunter at Kentucky. If he had a weakness, it was that he was too aggressive and preferred making a big play to the safe play. His son has a different approach.
“I would come up and try to knock a guy out,” Maurice Douglas said. “He will come up, tackle you, bang you but live to play a another day. He is a lot smarter than I was. I didn’t study film like he does. That will separate him from a lot of guys. He can get people in the right position.”
Maurice Douglas remembers how legendary Chicago Bears linebacker Mike Singletary did the same thing for the Bears because he watched so much film on his own. He knew where everyone should be on the field.
“Somebody has to be that guy. That’s why we moved him to safety. We needed somebody to do that for our team, and he can do that,” Maurice Douglas said.
Don’t worry about any de-commitment from Moses Douglas despite his early verbal commit. Moses Douglas has taken other unofficial visits and might even take a few more — with UK coach Mark Stoops’ blessing.
“One thing we try to reiterate to kids is that loyalty means so much but in today’s society so many people do not keep their word,” the former UK defensive back said. “He may end up visiting others but I know for certain that does not mean anything other than he just took a trip. UK coaches have told him that is fine.
“He is coming in early (in January). He understands what is in front of him. He will be able to come in and hit the ground running. He's coming in early so he can get to know the system and get a jump on weights and stuff like that because with UK losing so many defensive backs, he knows there could be a chance to get on the field right away.”
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