FORT WAYNE – When senior DMarcus Moon transferred from Bishop Dwenger to North Side, Redskins football coach Ryan Hall felt as of he was getting a standout running back to help take the place of the graduated Anthony Linnear. But there was an added bonus in getting Moon replacing Linnear at linebacker.
Moon rushed for 1,022 yards with the Saints last year but didnt play defense. He will with North Side, and it turns out that could be his main position.
During this offseason, I decided to play linebacker, and it has been a benefit to me, Moon said. Colleges see me at linebacker. With my size and speed, the two positions – running back and linebacker – are interchangeable. I felt this was the best for me, and I feel like the skys the limit at (linebacker).
Moon will make his North Side debut today in a scrimmage at Carroll.
We cant wait for the scrimmage at Carroll, he said. We have been riled up at practice. Its going to be a good one.
Hall said the 6-foot-1, 220-pound Moon has been a natural at linebacker.
We played Linnear both ways for three years, and he wasnt close to the size of DMarcus, Hall said. Here at North Side, we arent blessed with the number of athletes that Dwenger and Snider have, and (they) have the flexibility to say you are only going to play one way. Here, we are going to play the better kids as much as we can.
The thing with DMarcus coming in was everybody has questioned his toughness because he is always smiling, and he is a nice kid. It took no time at all. He is very physical and being as fast as he is helps out.
North Side assistant coach Mike Neuman filled Moon in on the nuisances of playing linebacker, teaching Moon how to read the guards and tackles. Moon will play the Sam linebacker, which is the strong-side middle linebacker.
He will have some learning mistakes going on, but as far as stepping forward, which is what linebackers want to do, hes got it, Hall said. Thats what we wanted to see. We wanted to see when the ball is coming forward, he didnt step back, and he doesnt.
Moon said his years at running back will serve him well in his new responsibilities.
I can anticipate what they are going to do and the guards pulling, I am shooting gaps, he said. I really have an eye for the ball.
Moon said things just didnt work out at Dwenger, and he has embraced his new surroundings.
It was just a family environment that I felt when I first toured the school and all the love I felt when I got here, Moon said. It has been everything I could have asked for. I just tried to change their mindset and let them know theres more than football, and you have to take care of the academics first and foremost. Having them buy into it has been an amazing thing.