Mosely's hands prove steady
The common perception is most defensive backs can't catch the football.
That is, after all, why they're on defense and not breaking down the field in search of finding the end zone, right?
In Darius Mosely's case, the senior from O'Fallon (Ill.) High School, probably won't hear any grief this fall.
Mosely set a school record with 11 receptions and 172 yards in O'Fallon's 10-7 win against Belleville (Ill.) West High School last Saturday.
Mosely, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound three-year starter for the Panthers, is projected to play a defensive back with the Illini.
At O'Fallon, which stands at 3-0 heading into Friday night's home game against Alton (Ill.) High School, Mosely rarely leaves the field, whether it's at wide receiver, in the defensive secondary or returning punts and kickoffs.
"Yeah, he's on (the field) quite a bit," O'Fallon head coach Brandon Joggerst said with a laugh. "He brings a lot of leadership. He's always in the right place at the right time. He's definitely a coach on the field making sure everyone's aligned right and all the checks and calls are correct."
Mosely committed to Illinois on June 23, choosing Tim Beckman's squad over Michigan State, Vanderbilt, Iowa and Arizona State which picked apart Illinois' secondary that Mosely hopes to contribute on in the future.
"I think he's very solidly committed to Illinois," said Joggerst, who has guided O'Fallon to the Class 7A playoffs the last three seasons, including a quarterfinal appearance last fall before a narrow 19-14 loss to eventual state runner-up Chicago St. Rita. "He's made everyone aware once he decided that's where he's going. (His recruiting has) slowed down since then."
Mosely did not attend the Illinois home opener against Western Michigan on Sept. 1 because of the poor weather, but Joggerst said Mosely has plans to visit a few times this season.
For now, Joggerst is going to utilize Mosely however he can for the Panthers, who are ranked fifth in Class 8A in the latest Associated Press poll released on Tuesday.
"He flies to the ball, and is very aware of where it's going," Joggerst said. "He's always around it. Some things he has, you can't teach."
Is there a college or NFL player that Mosely reminds Joggerst of? Not yet, his head coach admitted, but he's eager to see if Mosely makes his own mark.
"I don't want to give him too much credit yet until he gets to that point," Joggerst said with a laugh, "but he's definitely a good one for us."