Tag: Kapron Lewis-Moore

NFL Scouting Combine

Eight Irish seniors get invite to NFL Scouting Combine


While the excitement of Signing Day is still lingering, eight Notre Dame seniors received a very important invitation yesterday that will play a huge factor in their professional careers. The NFL’s annual scouting combine in Indianapolis released their official invite list and it was filled with Irish players.

Here are the following players who will be in Indianapolis for the annual cattle call.

Braxston Cave, C
Tyler Eifert, TE
Kapron Lewis-Moore, DE
Zeke Motta, DB
Theo Riddick, RB
Jamoris Slaughter, DB
Manti Te’o, LB
Cierre Wood, RB

It’s a really interesting list and just about every player invited has something to specifically prove. For Cave, it’ll be improving on his Senior Bowl performance, where the former Irish center struggled athletically when matched up with some elite prospects. There’s no doubt Cave will impress when it comes time to bench press or meet with individual teams, but he’ll need to show he can handle the demands of the position at the next level.

For Eifert, a solid combine performance could solidify his spot in the first round. Of the 19 tight ends invited to Indianapolis, Eifert is likely battling Stanford’s Zach Ertz’s for the top spot at the position. A solid performance athletically — not to mention an elite 40 time — would go along way towards locking down an early draft spot. It’ll be interesting to see those two match up physically, as they are basically mirror images on paper, with both measuring 6-foot-6 in the program, and Ertz having one pound on Eifert at 252.

For Lewis-Moore, who is less than a month into his recovery after knee surgery, it’ll be an opportunity for teams’ medical staffs to poke and prod the versatile defensive lineman. With an invitation validation his solid senior season, Lewis-Moore’s character and size will likely be enough for a team to take a flier on him.

Zeke Motta will likely need to shake the final game of his career, where he made 16 tackles, but missed a half-dozen more that led to big Alabama plays. But Motta is a physical specimen, a guy that should put up impressive numbers in this type of setting, and needs to show coverage skills and speed to match the physicality he played with this season. One game doesn’t define a career, but it’s something he’ll need to address and build on.

The big thing to watch for Theo Riddick is his forty-time. If he can get into the 4.5 range, he’ll likely have some team take a shot at him, if only for his versatility. While Riddick was a challenge to tackle in space, I’ve always been skeptical of his top-end speed, if only because he’s been chased down by defensive backs from Navy and BYU in the past. Riddick may have been the bell cow of the Irish offense in 2012, but to stick in the NFL, he’ll need to take advantage of the versatility he displayed during his four seasons in South Bend.

Perhaps the most interesting invite of the group belongs to Jamoris Slaughter. While he’s still appealing the NCAA for a sixth year, Slaughter’s name on the list shows the regard for him as a player, even while he’s making the recovery from a season-ending Achilles tendon injury. Slaughter’s measureables will be interesting — he’s just not as physically big and fast as he played in the Irish secondary. It doesn’t appear that Slaughter is back and ready to run and jump for potential employers, but the fact that he’s on the list means he’s on teams radar.

In what will be NFL team’s first opportunity to talk with Manti Te’o, expect a media circus as we get one more opportunity to rehash the post-script to Te’o’s heralded football career. Any team looking at Te’o will likely want to spend some time discussing the catfishing hoax, but they’ll also want to dig deeper into a future rock for an NFL defense. There’s little worry that Te’o will be able to ease any teams’ fear off the field. But he’ll need to show the size, speed and athleticism he displayed throughout the season, and make teams forget about the egg he laid against Alabama.

An invite to the combine was an important first step for Cierre Wood. Now he’s got to put up numbers that make a team believe he’s capable of being a feature back in the league. Skipping out on his final year of eligibility, Wood lost the chance to showcase his skillset for one final season as the featured back in an Irish offense that’ll be more explosive next season. So he’ll need to show the top-end speed many think he possesses and better than expected size and strength.

Ten players, ten reasons: Kapron Lewis-Moore

Wake Forest v Notre Dame

The sixth in a series on ten below-the-radar players whose performances helped key the Irish’s run to the national title game. Others include Zeke Motta, Danny Spond, TJ Jones, Prince Shembo and Theo Riddick.

It wasn’t too long ago that Kapron Lewis-Moore looked like the odd man out. As the fifth-year senior worked his way back from a season-ending injury knee injury, he returned to spring practice without a starting spot. After holding down a starting role for the better part of three seasons, the fifth-year senior from Texas was now looking up at an underclassmen on the depth chart.

Earlier in his career, that sort of thing could have thrown Lewis-Moore off his game. But after a few tumultuous seasons in South Bend, multiple defensive line coaches and two head coaches, the elder statesman of the defensive line knew he was better off worrying about getting better and letting things simply sort themselves out.

Things certainly did sort themselves out. Whether it was the starting job that fell back into his hands after Aaron Lynch transferred midway through spring practice, or recommitting himself to conditioning and the weight room, Lewis-Moore, once identified as one of Charlie Weis’ guys, became one of Brian Kelly’s best leaders.

Named one of the Irish’s four captains after a grueling summer conditioning schedule, Lewis-Moore was honored to be given the opportunity to lead his teammates by his head coach.

“He called my name last and I wasn’t really expecting it because we have a lot of guys on the team that are worthy of being captains,” Lewis-Moore recalled to The Observer. “To hear my name was really something special.

“I got a little teary eyed. I knew this season was going to be special but to be captain is just something I can’t really explain. It’s speechless.”

With the added responsibility of leading, Lewis-Moore’s production also rose to the occasion. Anchoring the end position opposite Stephon Tuitt, the senior has played his best football for the Irish down the stretch, putting together a tremendous final season as he helped anchor the stingiest defense in the country.

Lewis-Moore has continued to play solid football at the point of attack, using his 306-pound body to help anchor the Irish rushing defense. But after totaling just six career sacks heading into his final season in South Bend, Lewis-Moore added some pass rush skills to his repertoire, doubling his career total with six more this season, while making eight TFLs and forcing two fumbles.

“He’s been a better football player for us this year,” Kelly said of his senior captain. “He is an extremely productive player, is playing with a lot energy, and has been a great leader for us.”

With the season on the line, Lewis-Moore played perhaps the best game of his career, filling up the stat sheet with five tackles, 1.5 sacks, two TFLs, and a forced fumble against USC. With young star Stephon Tuitt kept in check, it was “Old Man Kap” that did the damage in the pass rush.

It was the penultimate stop on a very long journey that took a skinny tight end out of Weatherford Texas and turned him into one of the building blocks of the toughest defenses in college football. And with his collegiate finale just five days away, Lewis-Moore will get a chance to play on college football’s biggest stage, a game that feels like a lifetime away from the early trials and tribulations of his career.

“To think of my freshman year, getting snowballs thrown at me and now about to play for a national championship is something special,” Lewis-Moore said. “It’s hard to believe, but this team, we’re fighters.”



Final season one last chance for Lewis-Moore

KLM hit

Kapron Lewis-Moore has come a long way since picking Notre Dame over five years ago. As a lanky 6-foot-4, 225-pound defensive end from Weatherford, Texas, Lewis-Moore was a recruit that came down to the wire, with the Irish being the last minute pick over hometown favorite Texas A&M.

Before Irish fans ever knew Deontay Greenberry or Ronald Darby, Lewis-Moore was lifting the Irish coaching staff’s spirits by picking the Irish just days after recommitting to his long-standing pledge to the Aggies.

“I had de-committed earlier this week because [the A&M coaches] wanted me to be 100-percent sure about my decision,” Lewis-Moore told AggieYell.com less than a week before Signing Day 2008. “I wasn’t ready to do that. I don’t really know why.

“But I talked to my coach and my mom for a long time on Tuesday and I decided that I was definitely ready to end the process. A&M is where my heart is and I am 100-percent solid to the Aggies.”

It turned out he wasn’t, and Lewis-Moore’s eleventh hour switch, done in concert with recruiting coordinator Rob Ianello and head coach Charlie Weis, helped Notre Dame secure a much-needed bookend to Ethan Johnson.

Fast forward five years and a lot has changed in South Bend. Lewis-Moore included. That stick thin defensive end is now a 306-pound block of granite, and one of the last remaining members of the much-anticipated recruiting class of 2008.

Moore went through multiple position coaches, defensive coordinators and head coaches during his rocky period in South Bend, and now, entering his third season under head coach Brian Kelly, he finally has some continuity. After a senior season that was plagued by injuries and disappointment, that isn’t lost on the veteran as he enters another training camp.

“It’s the fifth one. I’m really excited about it,” Lewis-Moore told a group of reporters after practice this week. “I’m actually just looking forward to having some fun out there.  A lot of guys dread camp, but being injured you take not playing for granted and missing time really hurt me a lot. I’m just going out there having fun.”

That fun is an important part of the 2012 season, and part of rebuilding trust and commitment after a 2011 season saw the Irish fall flat with a disappointing 8-5 season. Kelly talked about what he’s done to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself. And Lewis-Moore mentioned the rededication of the team this summer, understanding the difficult schedule that sits in front of this team.

“I think this has been one of the best summers we’ve had in a while,” Lewis-Moore said. “I’m not saying that everyone wasn’t buying into the program, but everyone can see the results that can happen and see that Coach Longo knows what he’s talking about. Having everyone give that extra effort, it goes a long way. I think that’s translated over to the field.”

That translation hopefully shows strongly on the defensive line. Even with the loss of Freshman All-American Aaron Lynch, the defensive line expects to be one of the strongest units on the team, a far cry from the group Lewis-Moore started with in South Bend.

“We’ve gotta have a big year this year,” Lewis-Moore said. “I feel like we’ve always been good, but this year we’re pretty strong. We’ve got a lot of people coming back and it’s going to be a big year for us.”

Starting across from massive sophomore Stephon Tuitt, Lewis-Moore will be counted on to lead the defensive unit, the veritable old man after a tumultuous five years.