When Kapron Lewis-Moore returned from his recent trip to South Bend, Ind., he was still committed to becoming a member of the Texas A&M; University football team, but the Notre Dame Fighting Irish had given him plenty to think about in the days leading up to National Signing Day.
After contemplating his decision and considering his options with his family and coaches, the Weatherford Kangaroos defensive end announced his decision to take his talents out of state to continue his academic and athletic careers at Notre Dame Wednesday.
“Basically, what changed my mind was I talked to my mom about the possibilities after college, and I’m not saying A&M; is a bad college, but I feel like at Notre Dame, I can succeed a little more, that’s no disrespect to A&M; at all,” Lewis-Moore said. “Deep down, I’ll still be an A&M; fan, especially when they play Texas.”
Weatherford head football coach Kenny Wheaton said Lewis-Moore was in a very unique position when it came to deciding where he wanted to go to college and added that he is looking forward to watching him grow as a person and a player at the next level.
“It’s a pretty prestigious university,” Wheaton said of Notre Dame. “Just to get in academically is quite an accomplishment and then to be recruited so highly by everybody and then for it to come down to him choosing that university, what a great place to go. Like I said, it’s pretty prestigious, academically, athletically, the tradition, the global connections that Notre Dame has, it will be pretty fun to watch him go through his career there.”
Lewis-Moore, who was recruited by numerous Division-I schools and was considered one of the top recruits in the state, said he thoroughly enjoyed his visit to the Notre Dame campus, which ultimately had an impact on his decision.
“The campus is beautiful,” he said. “The population of the campus is less than 10,000 [students], so it’s a small campus. You’ll get to know your professors and you’ll get to know the student body and the student body knows you, and the coaching staff.
“The tradition up there is amazing. You feel like you’re walking through a history book when you’re up there.”
Up there, as Lewis-Moore put it, is a long way from Texas, which was another aspect the standout student-athlete considered when making his decision. However, Lewis-Moore knows where home is and he is expecting to return often to make sure to get his Weatherford fix.
“It’s going to be hard being away from the family, being away from the friends, but I think it will be all right,” he said. “I’ll be coming home, not as much as I would like to, but I will still be coming home. It won’t be too bad.”
Because of the type of person Lewis-Moore more has become, Wheaton said many fans and friends in the community will follow his career closely and be anxious for his return to talk about his experiences.
“I’ve been doing this a long time and we have had some guys go onto really big colleges before, but I think the thing that’s neat about Kapron is that everybody in this school and community is excited for him and they want to see him succeed, which is unusual,” Wheaton said. “He’s such a great young man and he’s humble. Everybody wants to see him do well and that is a unique thing in itself. Most times, people would be jealous of a guy getting to go on do the things he’s going to get to do. He’s handled it so well and we’re just real excited for him. He’ll represent us very well.”
Lewis-Moore, who played defensive end throughout his career in Weatherford, is expecting to see some time at his old position, but added the Notre Dame coaching staff has some other positions they would like to see him play.
“Since they run the 3-4 defense, they see me as an outside linebacker, defensive end hybrid, kind of coming off the edge a little bit,” he said. “It will be tough to learn the first year, but I think I can handle it.
“They kind of challenged me to learn something new, to step out of the comfort zone a little bit, so I think it’s the best choice for me.”
Notre Dame opens the 2008 football season at home against San Diego State University Sept. 6, followed by a meeting at home against the University of Michigan Sept. 13.