Maurice Douglass has sent a lot of football players to college.
The Springfield High School football coach knows all about the twists and turns in the sometimes wild world of recruiting.
But when it came to his own son, his intent was not to interfere.
“Me and his mom just stayed out of the way,” the coach said. “We wanted it to be his decision. We wanted it to be for him. I wanted to give him some insight of what I thought about what that decision may have been, but I didn’t want to be in the way of it. So we just let him make his own mind up.”
Moses Douglass, who is the No. 12 prospect in the state for 2019 according to 247Sports, made his decision in late March, choosing Kentucky from a long list of suitors that also included Alabama, Tennessee, Michigan, Michigan State, West Virginia, Duke, Iowa and Wisconsin.
The Wildcats from Lexington have been heavily involved in recruiting Wildcats from Springfield for several years, part of head coach Mark Stoops’ push to bring more players from his home state into the SEC.
But this one was different.
Moses Douglass is not only the son of a state championship-winning coach at a big program in Ohio — he’s also a legacy recruit.
Maurice Douglass wore the Blue and White in the mid-1980s and was a standout defensive back on the last Kentucky team to finish the season ranked in the Associated Press poll.
They finished 19th in 1984 with a 9-3 record.
Moses called announcing his decision “a big ol’ weight off my shoulders” and said he chose Kentucky because it was the best fit for him and his family.
He also sees a favorable depth chart situation with a large class of defensive backs set to leave Lexington after next season.
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The younger Douglass had 65 tackles and two interceptions as a junior last season for Springfield, and he projects to be a safety or possibly a nickel linebacker at the next level. That will be determined by how much more weight he ends up adding to a 6-foot-2 frame.
He plans to enroll in January and major in broadcast journalism, but before that there is the matter of his senior season at Springfield.
He said playing for his father is a challenge — but a good one.
“It’s definitely harder just because he’s going to be watching you the whole time even though he’s watching the team,” Moses Douglass said. “And he’s going to be at you because he’s going to expect you to be better than everybody, too, but at the end of the day it makes me better.”
Being the son of a well-known coach also brought some skeptics, including fellow high school recruits who weren’t afraid to Tweet at him their doubts his offers were sincere.
Were college coaches trying to gain favor with Maurice Douglass by offering his son?
“I just told him your play will dictate wherever you go,” the coach said. "No coach can make people offer you. I wish I could say, ‘Alabama, I want you to offer my son.’ I said your play will dictate it. So my whole thing was you’re gonna have haters and people who are going to give you a little bit more juice for the fire to make you push a little harder.
“But your play is what’s going to get you what you got. The fact you’ve got a 3.67 GPA is going to get you what you got.”
He advised his son to turn those doubts into motivation, and that is just what Moses has done.
“I let it get to me one time, but that was freshman year when I was young,” Moses Douglass said. “I’ve gotten a lot stronger since then. I just use it. I use it as fuel.”