Two years of high school football. One year of football, and at the FCS level. Playin for a team who's season ended in mid-November, at least 2 weeks before most FCS and especially all FBS teams are done. But receiver Dale Moss of South Dakota State wasn't forgotten about by NFL scouts and the East-West Shrine Game in their selection process.
Dale Moss doesn't come into the NFL Draft process as a household name. He wasn't ranked in the pre-season by any scouting service, even Bletso and National that work directly with NFL teams. So to go from basketball starter to one of the top senior receivers in the entire country is something remarkable.
But coming out of high school, Dale chose basketball at South Dakota State instead of football. He had already committed to the South Dakota State basketball program, for which he was a four year contributor and started each game his senior season.
"It was always my plan to play football in my 5th year, though. [The football staff] asked me come out for the team."
But Dale is a coachable, quick learner, a reoccuring theme in his potential football career. By the team's first game, against Cal Poly, Moss was the top receiver for the "Jackrabbits", ending the game with 8 receptions for 106 yards against a secondary that features Asa Jackson, one of the top senior cornerbacks in the country and a Senior Bowl invite.
Moss finished his nine-game season with 949 yards and 6 touchdowns, which equates to an 1160 yard season and 8 touchdown season for an 11 game season. His ability to transition from basketball to football in just one brief off-season is remarkable.
However, he would have a long while to go before he'd be able to stack up against the other top receivers in the country at the Shrine Game. But based on this week of scouting, he actually looked more polished in his routes and overall feel for the receiver position than some receivrers that had been three or four year starters. And with his length and size at 6'3, 220 he's already intriguing for NFL teams on size alone.
"I was about 200-208 area after basketball season, so I've added like 10-15 pounds since then, and it's all good weight too. We had a good workout program at the school, even for the basketball team...I've had to work hard to get bigger and be a better route runner, it hasn't been easy, but I think I'm getting it."
Moss sure looks the part so far. He said he's aiming for some place in the 4.4-4.5 range in his workouts, but as of now, he's very unlikely to be an NFL Combine invite.
After Saturday's Shrine Game, it'll be another down time for Moss. But the last two times he's had time to prepare for a big even, he's improve his weight and technique in a brief few weeks. He'll likely be waiting to workout again until his Pro Day sometime in March. That's two more months. If he can continue to progress the way he's shown, he could be less of a "project" player and more of a highly coveted "prospect" come NFL Draft day.