PULLMAN – Ben Moos scooped his own announcement.
While thanking his coaches and parents – Bill and Kendra Moos, who were seated on each side of Ben in front of a table filled will college hats – Ben Moos asked each of his Pullman High teammates to sign a football so he could “take it with me to Berkeley.”
Oops. Ben Moos realized he had given the name away before he chose the Cal hat and placed it on his head, then opened his jacket to reveal a Golden Bears T-shirt. It just went to show how eager the tight end is to get down to Berkeley, where he will move as soon as he graduates from Pullman High School, and join new Cal head coach Justin Wilcox and offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin.
Ben Moos’ father is Washington State athletic director Bill Moos. His father also played at WSU, and his older brother, Bo Moos, played football at Arizona State. So Ben Moos has long been well-versed in Pac-12 football. Cal was a school he would have liked to attend, but there was not much of a role for tight ends in former Cal coach Sonny Dykes’ Bear Raid offense. Moos wound up committing to Utah.
“I always thought that Cal was an awesome school and one of my best friends goes there, when they made the switch and got in contact with me I knew that was where I wanted to play football,” Ben Moos said. “It’s always been a dream of mine to play in a Rose Bowl and I think committing to Cal is the first step in realizing that dream.”
Moos was heavily recruited on both sides of the ball, though he has always told college coaches he wants the ball in his hands. He was a dominant player for the Greyhounds since his freshman season, when he made the MaxPreps.com Freshman All-America team. Pullman coach Dan Lucier said that Syracuse coaches told him they had Moos graded as the No. 1 tight end recruit in the country.
And having a father who hires and fires college coaches gave him a unique perspective during the recruiting process, as well as a buffer who could separate fact from fiction when coaches made their pitches.
“Early on there was this feeling among most schools that he was just going to go to Washington State,” Bill Moos said. “I wanted to make clear it was Ben’s decision.”
One coach that Bill Moos trusted was Wilcox, the new coach at Cal. Wilcox had played for Oregon when Moos was the athletic director in Eugene, and Moos has a relationship with Wilcox’s parents. The Moos family is also familiar with Baldwin, who was the head coach at Eastern Washington for the last nine seasons.
When Moos was in eighth grade, his father hired Mike Leach to coach the WSU football team. Ben Moos was on the small charter plane when Leach first flew into Pullman. Leach thought the massive teenager was one of his new players.
Moos, a three-time All-Great Northern League selection also had college scholarship offers from Arizona State, Louisville, Syracuse and others, including the hometown school. Ben Moos praised the WSU coaches – and his father said he was pleased to see the way his coaches conducted themselves during the recruitment process – but that ultimately he wanted to carve his own path in college.
“I knew going into this season that it was something I wanted to do – just getting away, forging my own path and making a name for myself,” Ben Moos said. “My father was 100 percent supportive of that and the guys at WSU, great deal of respect for them, they’ve been the No. 1 school to recruit me.
“I wish (the Cougars) nothing but the best. But hopefully we can get four wins against them.”
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