by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Holding 34 total offers, including Miami, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Cincinnati among others, Denham Springs, Louisiana-native QB Reese Mooney is poised for a senior year that could really signify a major breakthrough for the two sport talent.
While every top power five school in America is interested in Mooney (LSU, Oregon, Georgia among others), there was some worries over his baseball career interfering with football as well as concerns over his broken ankle in 2021.
From 2019-2021, Reese tossed 37 touchdowns and just under 3,650 yards while rushing for 4 scores, showcasing solid passing range, versatile skill sets, good measurables for a modern day quarterback and pretty much ticked every box.
But following a missed season as a junior due to a broken ankle, as the 2023 recruiting cycle begins to really juice itself into overdrive with summer camps, commitments and visits, Reese Mooney is ready to stake his claim as a pinnacle QB among a truly historic QB class, specifically within the state of Louisiana where Arch Manning, Eli Holstein and Rickie Collins all found themselves at the center of a college football-wide arms race (Holstein recently committing to Alabama & Collins to Purdue).
Though underrated and perhaps disrespected as a 3 star-rated talent, according to 247 Sports, Mooney isn't paying attention to the noise; Reese is blessed with a strong self awareness, and because of that mental strength, the Denham Springs starter is preparing to ignite his career in 2022.
I talked with Mooney at length to find out who he is as a person, what he's all about, where his recruitment is at currently, his relationship and status with LSU right now, expectations for Denham's season, whether he perceives his 3 star rating as disrespect, and a lot more:
LONN: Reese, you're a two sport star, showing out at shortstop and QB for Denham Springs High School, how do you feel your recruitment has gone with LSU so far?
REESE: LSU gonna wait on these few top targets I get it. I didn’t camp as much because of baseball. Got behind a little bit.
LONN: Aside from everything, is LSU a school you want to go to?
REESE: Just be so hard at LSU. If I went to LSU I would just go football. I'm trying to throw at LSU this weekend. They asked me to come throw so I'm trying get back from Texas and I’ll stop by (Mooney was stuck in I-10 traffic and missed the camp).
LONN: Where you at in Texas, right now?
REESE: Going with couple teammates to UTSA just to check it out. Was gonna throw at Texas A&M but we won’t have time. Might go to Baylor on Saturday.
LONN: Maaaan you been busy.
REESE: QB rooms filling up fast gotta make sure I’m on right place. I'll tell you a pretty cool place with an awesome coach is Liberty. Way better than people think. Coach Freeze is sharp too.
LONN: Freeze is a BAMF. Have you ever received any baseball offers from LSU?
REESE: No sir, never did because they knew I would go where football was. Talked to last year's staff a lot. But they knew football would push where I go.
LONN: What do you think about the rankings and ratings for recruits? You're listed as a 3 star, do you feel that's accurate or disrespectful?
REESE: Not disrespected. I feel we haven’t won enough for me to be a 4 star yet. That time is coming, I promise. But I gotta go earn that.
I have talent around me at Denham and the wins are about to come in a big way this year Yeah I didn’t get much pub for a while I guess I was doing baseball and not a lot of 7 on 7. It’s ok.. I got the Gold ball at the Rivals Camp a few months back, then kinda dropped in the rankings....so I was like "dang". But it’s ok.
LONN: When you look at the history of 3 star Louisiana Recruits and their incredible success in the NFL, do you feel you can make it, too?
REESE: Yeah I fell that way. You gotta feel that way. A lot of work comes with that, a lot of learning the game of football. But I feel I can get there with the work.
LONN: You haven't received very much attention football wise from LSU, is it because of your baseball pursuits?
REESE: Not sure on that question. I haven’t done enough maybe? I don’t know. I just wanna be a good teammate; my teammates deserve so much they don’t get also. I know I can throw with anybody, I’m not small. I’m over 200 pounds and 6’1. But we gotta win and when that happens, I’ll get what I deserve. So will my teammates.
LONN: If you could only choose one sport, is it football or baseball?
REESE: Football, that's easy.
LONN: Do you feel like coaches aren't aware of how much you love football? Do you feel like they think you're one foot in and foot out for baseball, too?
REESE: Sometimes I do. But I have coaches who love me. I have great relationships with a bunch of coaches.
I’m not chasing logos. I want to be with a coach that gets me and we connect for sure. In the end let’s go win at whatever school that ends up being.
LONN: Who are the coaches you've enjoyed getting to know so far in your process?
REESE: So many of them. Hate to mention just a few. A couple stand out big time, but can’t really say right now. One coach sticks out big time: Hugh Freeze. He makes you feel special and he is sharp.
LONN: Have you been in contact with LSU QBs Coach Joe Sloan?
REESE: We talked when he was at La Tech a little. I was recruited pretty hard by Cincy when Coach Denbrock was there.
LONN: What were your impressions of Sloan at La Tech? And Denbrock at Cincy???
REESE: Both were cool and both know what they are doing for sure.
LONN: Do you think Joe Sloan could develop you to your maximum?
REESE: For sure.
LONN: What offensive system would you say you're most comfortable in?
REESE: I like RPO spread or Pro style.
LONN: Aiming ahead for this fall, what is needed most from you to deliver a championship to Denham?
REESE: Just not trying to do too much. Our defense is really good. Get the ball to my guys and let them make plays. We have really good players. People that laugh at Denham winning state have no idea.
LONN: Do you think Denham Springs get a lot of crap from other regions of Louisiana?
REESE: Maybe so, but usually same teams show up at the Dome. So it makes them right. We gotta change that.
LONN: Who are the weapons you trust the most on your team, right now? And who are the teammates you wanna send a message to and light a fire under?
REESE: We got so many. I really trust all my guys on offense: Ray McKneely is a stud, Micah Harrison, Andrew Goodwin, Camron Eirik, Lionell, Cam Kelly, Tyler Kimble is getting heavily recruited and we have some sleepers also on the line. We have a lot of seniors this year & we been waiting on this. On defense, it’s just loaded: Hayden Rushing, Jed Cambre, Jude Horne, Mason, Alex and so many more.
I trust all 11 to do their job.
LONN: So.....this is a veteran team, what are you older guys able to do to show these young guys the way right now while it's early?
REESE: Just work hard and guide them the right way. I have a good underclass QB behind me, Jerry Horne, and I try and be a good teammate to him. Yes sir, lots of seniors (on this team). You wanna work hard so they will work hard.
LONN: Which team is the biggest obstacle in your way?
REESE: I mean, I guess Zachary since they won the state title last year.
LONN: What's the school you'd be at if everything was the way you are envisioning, not about the logo, but location, all of it....
REESE: I grew up a Miss State fan. But They didn’t recruit me much. That’s ok.
LONN: When are you thinking about committing?
REESE: I’m going to pick pretty soon and be done and shut it down. Haven’t set date yet, but it’s close. Not gonna do a date....when I feel it, I’m done.
by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
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