There are sophomores diving into the learning curve, taking their lumps and just trying to survive through the varsity football struggle.
Kela Moore is not one of those sophs. The 6-foot, 180-pound sophomore is already one of the top defensive backs in the state. San Diego State got a jump on prospective competitors by offering the Campbell defender a scholarship last week.
“I kind of didn’t really expect it either. But after school, coach DJ (Darren Johnson) would have me talk to coaches from colleges. I’ve talked to different coaches that came to our school. Boise State, UCLA. Hawaii came during the season,” Moore said.
He knew the Aztecs were serious.
“They like my film. They showed it to the head coach. They were going to offer me the week before but the head coach told the tight ends coach to come check me out at Pylon practice,” said Moore, who plays for the 808 Beasts squad.
That tight ends coach is former Moanalua head coach Savaii Eselu, who continues to make inroads locally.
Moore has been guided and tutored by some of the best defensive backs in recent years — older brothers Kona and Kama Moore. The two were standouts at Saint Louis during their four-peat Open Division state champion run. Kona Moore signed with Hawaii recently. Kela stayed home and is a mainstay at Campbell despite his youth.
“This season, I think i showed I know how to tackle and I know how to play the ball in the air well. Originally, I was a cornerback, but they switched me to safety,” he said.
Moore tunes in to Cleveland Browns games when he can, but not because he’s a fan of the Dawg Pound.
“My favorite DB is probably Grant Delpit. I like that he’s tall, the build of him, lengthy, good at covering ground as a safety, and physical,” he said. “That’s why I kind of look up to him.”
Still growing, Moore’s max on the bench press is 225 and his max on the squat is 280. The doors of opportunity will continue to open for Moore, who is hitting the books hard. His dream school is USC.
He hasn’t planned on playing in any summer camps yet. For now, the grind continues.
“I’m working out with Kawe Johnson every Sunday and Thursday,” Moore said.
Kela Moore’s lockdown staples
Top 3 movies/shows
1. “The Longest Yard”
2. “Bench Warmers”
3. “Scary Movie”
Top 3 food/snack/drink
2. Body Armor
3. Papa (Kevin Yoshizu)’s loco moco
Top 3 music artists
Favorite athlete: Grant Delpit
Funniest teammate: Tysic Puni
Smartest teammate: Blesyng Alualu
“Papa K, the best cook.”