The Moss football family tree will branch out again to the college football ranks, as Thaddeus Moss, the son of former NFL superstar Randy Moss, announced his commitment to N.C. State on Saturday.
The younger Moss—the nation’s No. 18 tight end, per 247Sports—chose the Wolfpack over Texas A&M, but he also took visits to USC and UCLA and fielded offers from a slew of top-tier schools, including Georgia, Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma and West Virginia, the state in which his father grew up.
He announced his decision on Twitter, posting a picture with head coach Dave Doeren at an N.C. State basketball game:
Thaddeus Mekhi Moss @Thaddeusmoss
I'm beyond blessed to announce that I will be shutting down my recruitment and committing to Nc State❗️❗️❗️ #Pack16 https://t.co/rKPgAd8z6o2016-1-23 19:25:08
The 3-star tight end is a 6’3”, 240-pound prospect out of Mallard Creek High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, and said location and loyalty were the primary factors in his decision.
"It just felt right," Moss said, per Tom VanHaaren of ESPN.com. "It's close to home, it felt right, and they kept it real with me from day one. N.C. State was the first team to offer, and loyalty was rewarded.”
He also said the prospect of playing immediately weighed heavily on his commitment.
"I believe in Coach Doeren and his vision with the program. I'll have early playing time, tight ends are vital in the offense, and the coaching staff has kept it real with me since day one,” Moss said, per Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports.
The Wolfpack return starter David Grinnage and underclassman Cole Cook, but neither had a remarkable season in 2015, meaning Moss could contribute early.
Randy Moss was a college star for two seasons at Marshall before leading a Hall of Fame-worthy career in the NFL. With the Thundering Herd, he was a statistical machine, compiling 20.3 yards per catch with 54 total touchdowns and 15 games eclipsing 100 receiving yards.
His son appreciates those accolades but wants to establish his own milestones away from his father’s shadow. Moss said he leaned on his dad some during the recruiting process but that the decision was all his, per VanHaaren:
For the most part, he really let me go about the process on my own. I asked for his opinion and for him to sit down with the coaches and talk, but I asked for that these last few weeks. He voiced his opinion, and we had in-depth conversations about what was best for me and what was best for the family.
N.C. State finished 7-6 last season yet was third in the ACC in scoring (33.2 points per game), behind only Clemson and North Carolina, the two teams that played for the conference title.