Viewed as another blue-chip prospect from perennial powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, defensive tackle Anthony Moten was a former commit of the University of Florida before coming to his senses and committing to the University of Miami in 2014. Moten had a productive senior season, tallying 40 tackles, six tackles for loss and an additional six sacks. You can understand why a player who was named All-Broward by the Miami Herald and invited to Nike’s The Opening. It goes without saying that ’Canes fans envisioned a similar output upon his arrival at Coral Gables.
Moten was eased into the defensive line rotation as a freshman. Getting snaps in games against FAMU, Duke, Cincinnati and North Carolina, the big freshman got the opportunity to acclimate to the speed of the game, as well as develop as a player in year one as a Hurricane.
With experience comes confidence that the player knows what his responsibilities and reads are during a game. The training wheels were tossed to the side in Moten’s sophomore year, with the DT getting more playing time in the rotation that has been searching for consistency from the defensive interior. Moten made his first career start in the second game of the 2015 season against FAU. The following week, Moten would bring down Nebraska QB Tommy Armstrong to collect his first career sack. Starting four of the 12 games he played that season, Moten provided Miami’s defense with a stat line of 15 tackles, two tackles for loss and one-and-a-half sacks.
With change across the entire coaching staff, new defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski and defensive coordinator Manny Diaz looked to get the most out of Moten entering his junior year. Moten got snaps in 11 of Miami’s 13 games in the 2016 season. While his 2016 (six tackles and one tackle for loss) numbers don’t compare to his 2015, Moten developed his talents under the new coaching regime—and it will be just a matter of time before he will showcase those skills.
That showcase has been on display all season long for the Hurricanes. Competing for a rotational role, Moten has been a fixture on a Miami defensive line that has been a strength of not only the team, nor even the ACC, but the entire nation. To date, the senior DT has 10 tackles, a tackle for loss and a pass breakup. What’s not included on the stat sheet is not just Moten giving DT Kendrick Norton a break. Moten also provides just as much push in the middle of the line of scrimmage to free up linebackers to make a play as well as shutting down the running lanes up the gut. For a player who has played “Big Boy” football for the best institutions in the state of Florida, you have to tip your hat to a player who played a significant role for the defense despite not receiving top billing. However, the way Miami’s season is going, we should be hearing more noise about the man from Fort Lauderdale who bends blockers backward into the lap of a quarterback.
State of the U salutes Anthony Moten and the rest of the 2017 senior class!
IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THE U!