Editor's note: Second in a series of stories spotlighting incoming recruits to the BYU football program.
PROVO — Malik Moore didn't know much about BYU when first approached with the opportunity to play there, but after productive conversations with the Cougars' coaching staff and a good visit to Provo, Moore decided the program suits him best.
Turns out his athletic makeup suits exactly what BYU assistant head coach Ed Lamb wants in his defensive backfield, making the fit mutual.
The Point Loma High (California) product stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 180 pounds. He's also fast, having clocked times of 10.84 seconds in the 100 meters and 21.91 in the 200.
BYU coaches contacted Moore at his high school, and grew increasingly impressed after his performance at a summer camp at USC last summer.
"They told me then they wanted to give me an official visit in December," Moore said. "They then offered me on my visit. I then committed, and that is that, pretty much."
As mentioned, Moore wasn't familiar with BYU's program at all prior to receiving interest from coaches, but grew to like what the program offered. First and foremost was his initial contact with Lamb.
"He was just real," Moore said. "He was honest about the process, kept his word about the visit and never bailed on me. I then got to know the other coaches and I loved all of them, along with BYU, and the tradition they have there."
Moore received interest from other programs, such as San Diego, which offered him, but ultimately rested on BYU due to several factors.
"The facilities there are amazing and I feel comfortable there," said Moore, who is not a member of the LDS Church. "They treat their players well and I really like all of them, especially coach Kalani (Sitake)."
Moore aims to arrive in Provo on June 23, where he'll meet up with fellow 2018 signee Isaiah Herron, with whom he's become good friends. He'll work to earn a spot playing cornerback, although he played both receiver and defensive back in high school.
"I expect it to be hard, but also fun and a great experience," Moore said. "I got to know guys like Zach Wilson, Micah Simon, Troy Warner, but especially Isaiah. We're going to be roommates there, and we've been in a lot of contact since we both signed."
Expert breakdown by Ben Criddle
Moore's strengths: He has legit speed, which is exactly what coach Lamb is looking for. I like what he shows with regards to linear speed from his film playing receiver and in taking handoffs out of the backfield. He's not super-shaky, but he'll make you miss when he has the ball in his hands.
I also like his hands. Some don't think that's a big deal for someone who is going to play cornerback, but it's a really underrated aspect. One of the most underrated stats there are, are dropped interceptions. He looks like a guy who has the ability to make critical plays picking off passes in games. Those are game-changers, and he has that ability to be a game-changing type as he develops into a defensive back. I think he's a guy who could play receiver, but definitely like him as a cornerback. He's versatile and I love that he played both ways.
What Moore needs to work on: He tends to open up his hips and then shuffles, while catching up using his speed. As a college corner you're going to have to have tremendous hip swivel, and so he needs to work on that. But that's a somewhat normal thing that a lot of cornerbacks have to learn.
He also tends to go for the big hit, but at the next level he'll get (beat) too much trying that. He'll need to learn better technique and how to wrap up.
Moore's chances to contribute immediately: I'd say 15 to 20 percent chance. I like him as a special teams guy, and that should be a goal for him. But he has real good athleticism and if he can learn and develop some basic techniques, then he has a chance.
Cougar comparison: He reminds me of Michael Morris, athletically. Morris played some defensive back and receiver, and I see Moore having a lot of the same athletic makeup and ability.
Ben Criddle started at defensive back for the BYU in 2006 and 2007. He currently hosts the "Cougar Sports with Ben Criddle" radio program on ESPN960.