Recruit Profile: CB Trai Mosley

CB Trai Mosley | Pflugerville, Texas – Hendrickson High School | 5-10, 170

RANKINGS: Mosley’s a consensus 3-star prospect, ranked among the nation’s top 100 cornerbacks by both Scout and 247Sports. Let’s get that part of it out of the way early because, in reading about Mosley, I uncovered something interesting. But first, the rankings:

Rivals: 3-star, NR | Scout: 3-star, 56 | 247: 3-star, 70

And Nebraska’s national and Big Ten rankings as of today:

Rivals: 37, 6 | Scout: 37, 6 | 247: 40, 6

Now to the interesting thing: Remember Ryan Broyles? Two-time All-American as a wide receiver for Oklahoma? Had three catches for 61 yards against the Huskers in the 2010 Big 12 title game? Second round draft pick of the Detroit Lions? Yeah, that guy. He’s apparently in the business of evaluating recruits these days for a site called Football Brainiacs, and boy did he have some glowing things to say about Mosley, giving him a 4.4 rating on a 5-point scale:

Special athlete all around. He is a very elusive player in the return game. His athleticism is top notch. He has smooth hips and runs well. I think he could contribute right when he walks on campus. He plays with a lot of confidence and, based on how he plays, he has every right to. He’s not afraid to make physical tackles in the flat and in the run game in general. His bump and run coverage technique can be improved but he shows he can stick to a man down the field and high point balls resulting in deflections or interceptions. Again, Trai is a special athlete and if he was a little taller I would have given him an even higher grade because he appears to have league level athleticism and fluidity.

WHO ELSE WAS INTERESTED: As you may have guessed based on the excerpt above, Oklahoma offered Mosley and he visited Norman in November. Baylor, SMU and Texas State all also offered and there was some talk after Terry Joseph left Nebraska for Texas A&M that Mosley might visit TCU but an in-home visit with new DBs coach Charlton Warren solidified Mosley’s commitment to Nebraska. Chalk up an early win for Warren.

HOW HE FITS: With Ciante Evans, Stanley Jean-Baptiste and Mohammed Seisay gone and Daniel Davie out for the spring with an injury, signing some cornerback depth is near the top of Nebraska’s priority list in the class of 2014. Mosley is definitely the best of the cornerbacks the Huskers have committed thus far. It’s not easy to get on the field early at corner, but Evans did it, playing eight games as a true freshman while backing up Prince Amukamara and Alfonzo Dennard. It’s hard to see Mosley challenging for a starting role right away in 2014, but I’d be surprised if he redshirted. Nebraska has a couple of intriguing options at kick/punt returner in this class and Mosley’s one of them, offering him another avenue to early playing time.

HOW HE LOOKS: Corner’s not an easy position to play by any means and, while Mosley’s physical gifts are evident on film — Rivals says he runs a 4.4 40 and his high school coach says he has a 38-inch vertical — it his overall comfort as a cornerback that jump out to me. That’s something that’s sort of unique to cornerbacks who play big-time high school football in Texas and Florida because they see a lot of spread offenses that replicate, at least to some degree, what they’ll see in college. That said, it’s still a big jump but for a traditionally sized corner Mosley certainly looks the part. Bo Pelini’s scheme isn’t an easy one to learn in four weeks of fall camp but the thing that could get Mosley on the field early is his ability to help in the run game. On his senior highlights below we don’t see Mosley get tested in the passing game very ofter — a testament to his skill in its own right — but we do see him making a number of tackles on running plays and late in plays on passes. That ability to switch from a man-to-man defender to one of 11 trying to make a tackle is tough to teach and Mosley looks to be ahead of the game in that regard.