New Texas Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian received some good if relatively expected news on Thursday when wide receiver Joshua Moore announced his return for the 2021 season.
To be continued pic.twitter.com/fOguqOo870— JOSHUA MOORE (@_TheJoshuaMoore) January 7, 2021
The 6’1, 169-pounder was a redshirt sophomore during the 2021 season, during which he led the team in receptions (30), receiving yards (472), and touchdowns (nine). No other wide receiver had more than five touchdown catches.
With Brennan Eagles declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft after his junior season, Moore will enter the Sarkisian era as the team’s clear No. 1 wide receiver.
In 2020, it didn’t take him long to make an impact. In fact, on the team’s first play from scrimmage against UTEP, Moore caught a pass over the middle on a run-pass option and took it 78 yards for a touchdown.
It wasn’t the most consistent season for Moore, as he was up and down at times due to injuries, including a knee injury suffered against TCU and a shoulder injury suffered against Oklahoma State.
However, Moore finished the season on a strong note with five catches for 86 yards and two touchdowns in the Alamo Bowl against Colorado. More importantly, both of those touchdown passes came in the second half from backup quarterback Casey Thompson, who replaced Sam Ehlinger at halftime due to Ehlinger’s shoulder injury. So that was a positive look at what the two could accomplish in 2021 if Thompson wins the starting job.
Another season will also provide another chapter in Moore’s redemption arc — his Texas career nearly ended in 2019 when he was arrested for a misdemeanor weapons charge. He eventually received deferred adjudication, stayed out of trouble, and spent that season working on the scout team, but suspended from games.
When Moore was able to get back on the field for the Longhorns, he made it count, confident in his ability on the field, but humbled by his ability to show it off at Texas.