HARRISONBURG – Turner Ashby High School’s football team hasn’t won much on the field recently — it’s 5-15 the last two years — but that doesn’t mean it lacks college prospects, as big Nic Moyers demonstrates.
Moyers, a senior, has been courted by James Madison for over a year and sources at JMU say the university is now waiting only on the 6-foot-4, 290-pound lineman’s SAT score before making a scholarship offer.
He said he felt confident that he’d score high enough on the test, which he plans to take in January — “it’s not that big of an issue,” he said — though he added that his grades could use a boost.
What’s definitely not an issue is his football ability.
“They said they really like my athleticism, strength and how I played this season,” Moyers said, speaking of Madison’s coaches. “They really want me to play there.”
Moyers isn’t the only TA player who could go D-I. Teammate Roy Cubbage, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound senior wide receiver/defensive back, is being recruited by Virginia Military Institute, he said this week. Cubbage said VMI is his only D-I suitor; others pursuing him include Division III Bridgewater College.
Cubbage, who said he’s run the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds flat, said he hasn’t been offered any money by VMI yet, but that the Keydets’ coaches are visiting him at TA next week. He said a scholarship offer from VMI would probably win him over.
“A lot of people are liking my speed right now,” said Cubbage, also the Valley District’s fastest 100-meter dash runner in outdoor track last spring.
Moyers was a first-team All-Region III defensive lineman this year (he was second-team all-region on offense), and he said he wouldn’t be opposed to playing defense in college. But a JMU source said Moyers would probably play on the O-Line, and Moyers said Madison offensive line coach Chris Malone foresees him playing offensive guard.
Under NCAA rules, college coaches cannot publicly comment on players until receiving their signed letters of intent.
James Madison apparently isn’t the only I-AA program interested in Moyers.
Moyers said that Liberty and Richmond are also recruiting him, though none have offered, also because they’re waiting on his SAT score.
When asked which school he preferred, Moyers initially responded that he didn’t know. But then, unprovoked, he spoke glowingly about Madison.
“I really like JMU,” he said. “I like their campus, I like that they’re local, and it seems like they have a good program every year.”
Moyers also said he has received some interest from a I-A school: Virginia Tech. But, he said, the Hokies would probably offer him only a walk-on spot. If he gets a scholarship offer from one of the Division I-AA schools, Moyers said, he’ll probably take that instead.
“My thought is, you can’t really beat a free education,” Moyers said. “That’s definitely a huge thing. The education part’s definitely what I’d be worried about.”
Moyers said college coaches started talking to him after watching him last season. At that point, he said, he didn’t think of himself as a college recruit.
“It was kind of a wakeup call actually, because colleges started coming in and talking to me, and coaches knew my name,” he said. “They said they had seen me play, and I never even knew they were there before.
“…It’s been fun, because playing college football has always been something that I’ve wanted to do. It’s been really fun actually.”