KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee is looking to recapture its glory from the 1990s. Join us daily at SEC Country for the latest recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Volunteers.
Joshua Moore recently named Florida State his leader.
In advance of next week’s visit for the Florida game, the 2018 receiver from small-town Yoakum, Texas called Tennessee his top school now.
“I would say Tennessee is my leader because they hit me up everyday. They show me love,” the 4-star wideout told me.
“They’re always hitting me up. They’re always texting me about something. They’re checking in on me almost every single day. They’re a winning team. They win games.”
Moore is a Top-100 receiver, holding more than 25 offers. The Texas native will get a firsthand look at the Volunteers next weekend, and he’s excited about this visit.
“I love the way they use their receivers. I love the way they use their athletes. They have a great academic system and that’s all that I’m looking for in a school, that’s why they’re so high on my list,” he explained.
“I have been doing a lot research on them lately. When I go up there I just want to get a feel of the city. How do the people feel? How to the people around me act? The atmosphere on gameday? How that is? I hear it’s pretty crazy, so I’m excited.”
The 6-foot-1, 170-pound receiver already has a connection to Tennessee, too, forming an early relationship with Vols 2018 commit Alontae Taylor. The two receivers met at an Opening Regionals camp, immediately bonding on the same 7-on-7 team.
“He’s like a brother to me,” Moore said.
“He hits me up every single day. We talk about Tennessee. We talk about school, just life in general. It’s not always about football. All the aspects of life. What it takes to be great.”
Moore has also DM’d with multiple 2017 Vols commits, including 4-star safety Maleik Gray (LaVergne), to inquire about “what they see in Tennessee.”
When the Sept. 1 contact period started, Moore immediately heard from several Tennessee assistants including receivers coach Zach Azzanni.
Then UT’s head coach started blowing up Moore’s phone.
“I’ve been texting with Butch Jones a lot,” he said, excitedly.
“We text almost everyday.”
Moore won’t travel to Knoxville alone next weekend, either, as his twin brother Jordan Moore will also make the trip. The 4-star safety holds a Tennessee offer as well.
Could the Texas twins be Tennessee’s next double-trouble duo?
Perhaps, but the pair don’t have finite plans to play together at the next level.
Unlike the Gaddy’s, the Moore brothers aren’t a true package deal. Both players have in-state Texas (which remains the odds-on favorite for the twins) high on their list, but Jordan also favors Texas A&M, while Joshua likes Tennessee and Florida State.
For now, the twins are just focusing on narrowing their opulent offer-sheets and making each other better everyday. Joshua admitted there are some real challenges to being a twin — especially when both players are so highly recruited.
“Some people think it’s pretty nice to have a twin, and it is. Don’t get me wrong. But with me and him being some of the top players in the country it gets kind of competitive,” he said.
“Every time at football practice if I’m at DB and he’s at receiver or visa versa. We’re always going at it. We’re always tussling with each other. It’s competition everyday, whether I’m getting him better or him getting me better. On the field, on the court, on the track, in the classroom. Whatever it is. We just want the best for each other. We push each other to be great every single day.”
Joshua, who hopes to study sports communication or architecture in college, called his brother a “head-hunter” safety, while he compared his own game to a pair of former 5-star prospects.
“I idolize my route running skills from Stephon Diggs, and I take my physically from JuJu Smith-Schuster from USC,” he said.
“I’m a vertical threat. I can beat you down the field. I can go up and get the ball at the highest point. I’m a crisp route runner. A physical receiver. Every ball that’s in the air I consider it my ball and I’m going to go get it.”
Joshua has preliminary planned an announcement date for June 18, 2018 — the four-year anniversary of his older brother Quinton Moore’s tragic suicide. Jordan has said he will release his decision on Christmas Eve this year.
— JOSHUA MOORE ‼️ (@_TheJoshuaMoore) September 11, 2016
“I’m going to wait a little bit just to see because I’m getting a stack of mail each and everyday from every single college in the country,” Joshua said.
“A month from now, I’m going to see who is still mailing me, who is still contacting me, which coaches I’m building good relationships with and I’m going to go off of that and (narrow his) list.”
My take: Joshua is clearly enjoying the process and the twins will be tough pull out of the Longhorn State, but don’t write off Tennessee’s chances. Joshua is legitimately interested in the Volunteers, has a real relationship with Alontae Taylor and is eager to be wowed next weekend. I’m not sure exactly where Jordan stands on Tennessee’s board, but since the brothers don’t seem to mind parting ways for college, Joshua could seriously test the waters out of state. Next weekend’s visit will go a long way for Tennessee, but getting Joshua back on campus again will be the real key. This recruitment is far from over.