Josh Moore, once a highly-regarded recruit, will transfer out of Missouri’s football program.
After a purge of the roster and coaching staff in 2016, the Missouri Tigers football program has largely remained in neutral this offseason. They’re not expected to bring in any impactful recruits and haven’t lost any starters due to transfer (they lost just six players who ended the season as starters to graduation or the NFL Draft).
As National Signing Day approaches, though, we’ll probably begin to see a few depth players depart. These departures often come under pressure as coaching staffs try to open up scholarships for new recruits. We saw one of those depth players depart the Mizzou program on Monday, as sophomore defensive lineman Josh Moore announced his plans to transfer on Twitter:
Moore, who was primarily considered a tight end coming out of high school–he was ranked as the 27th-best prospect in his class at that position by Rivals–received offers from esteemed programs such as Auburn, Florida State, Ohio State, and Oklahoma. He was rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals and ESPN.
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Mizzou had different plans for Moore, though. After losing three defensive linemen (Shane Ray, Kony Ealy, and Sheldon Richardson) early to the NFL Draft in the space of three years, Mizzou was somewhat short on pass-rushing depth, so they moved Moore to the defensive side of the ball.
With highly-regarded defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski at the helm, Moore was developed as an undersized, pass-rushing defensive tackle during his freshman year, seeing a solid amount of action from scrimmage despite the fact that he was only about 260 pounds. Moore played in 11 games, collecting nine tackles, including half a tackle for loss.
With the Tigers becoming even more shorthanded at defensive end with the unexpected loss of starter Walter Brady just prior to training camp in 2016, new head coach Barry Odom and defensive line coach Jackie Shipp moved Moore back outside to defensive end, though they discussed the possibility of moving him back inside if he gained more weight. Moore, who was listed at 255 pounds this past season, never really became a factor at end.
Walk-on Jordan Harold earned a starting job on opening day alongside star pass rusher Charles Harris, and second-year players Marcell Frazier and Nate Howard eventually re-emerged and became impactful role players. Moore played in just five games, collecting two tackles and another half tackle for loss.
Moore was a survivor of childhood cancer, having been diagnosed when he was eight years old and then undergoing treatment for five more years to ensure that the disease was eliminated.