The enduring image of Brandon Moore as a Longhorn was of him leaving the field at the Cotton Bowl on a stretcher - Tom Pennington
The Longhorns managed to keep one draft-eligible player in Austin on Thursday, but suffered a loss on Friday.
Hours after Texas Longhorns wide receiver Mike Davis was leaving and then staying, junior defensive tackle Brandon Moore declared for the 2013 NFL Draft on Friday evening.
The 6-5, 320-pound Moore was at Texas for only a year after transferring from East Mississippi CC last January. Prior to that, Moore had worked with defensive tackles coach Bo Davis during his one season at Alabama.
Moore released the following statement through the school:
I want to thank Coach (Mack) Brown, Coach (Bo) Davis and everyone at Texas. I enjoyed my time and really appreciate the opportunity I had to play for the Longhorns, but my lifelongdream has been to play in the NFL and to have a chance to support my family. I'll definitely miss everyone at Texas and will always pull for the Longhorns, but I'm ready to put all of my energy into preparing for my future and getting ready to work out for NFL scouts.
And though the perception of Moore was that he had a poor season, the overall stats were solid -- 18 tackles, eight tackles for loss, two sacks, and six quarterback hurries. It did seem that Moore's impact and playing time decreased after his scary neck injury against Oklahoma.
As for why Moore left, it's a bit perplexing since he wasn't generally considered an impact player looking forward to the 2013 season, when Texas will have an extremely deep defensive tackle rotation that will add redshirting freshmen Paul Boyette and Alex Norman, as well as A'Shawn Robinson (hopefully) and possibly even Andrew Billings.
In that sense, then, losing a potential NFL player like Moore actually represents a minor blow, coming as it does at the deepest position on the team. In fact, it may end up being positive in the long run because it will allow more playing time for an emerging force in true freshman Malcom Brown.
For Moore, it may be difficult to break into the draft above the sixth round or so, though some type of positive feedback probably played a role in his decision. He has the frame and can flash the skills to perhaps find his way onto a team, but his conditioning and overall production level left more than a little bit to be desired, placing great importance on his pre-draft interviews and workouts.