June 3, 2009

Moore makes right call in USC

Byron Moore wanted to be a Trojan. It was his self-described dream school.

Yet a late decommitment from USC made it seem like Moore's future wasn't going to be in cardinal and gold. But Moore never turned his back on USC.

In fact, what he saw after decommitting reaffirmed his original decision.

"I was still taking visits. I didn't want to feel locked down to one school to give everyone a fair shot while I was on the visit," Moore said. "I just went ahead and decommitted to take one more visit to Colorado. Then, I made my decision.

"I was very relieved. It was a big weight lifted off my shoulders to know it was all over and I was headed to one of the top schools in the nation."

Moore signed his Letter of Intent to play football at USC, ending a rollercoaster recruitment that left the talented Narbonne prep star back where he started.

"It's hard. You build relationships with coaches for months and months of recruiting, and then you get kind of attached to them," he said. "In the end, you can only say yes to one of them."

But Moore's feeling glad he said "yes" to the Trojans, and he's jacked up at the prospects of coming in with a very talented secondary class, joining T.J. McDonald, Patrick Hall, Jawanza Starling and Torin Harris.

"Ever since I committed at the Rising Stars Camp, we all began to get pretty close throughout the season," Moore said. "At the Army game, we were always together. We started talking at least once a week. I actually just went and saw Patrick Hall at his last track meet. We're all pretty close."

Moore's hoping the relationship can help ease the transition from high school senior to college freshman and that the group can live up to the considerable hype.

"We all want to come in and live up to the things people are saying about us. The closer we are and the tighter we are, the easier that will be," Moore said. "We'll fight for each other on the field and have each other's back because of all the chemistry. "

When Moore arrives on campus on June 21, he knows he's in for quite a shock. Moving from safety to corner, Moore will match up with a wide range of receivers, from the speedy Travon Patterson to the gigantic David Ausberry.

"They're all so great. USC gets all these great athletes from around the country. It's going to be so great for me to go up against those guys in practice every day," Moore said. "I want to challenge myself against the best; come game day, it will be easy."

The end goal will be to pull the No. 9 jersey he's wearing over his shoulder pads and step out onto the field at the Coliseum and contribute. But first, he's got some learning to do.

"I just need to learn the playbook, working with the coaches and other players and studying really hard. Then, I'll need to adjust to the competitive speed of the game, and take it all in," he said. "I want to learn as much as I can from the coaches and the veterans out there.

"I need to be a sponge and soak it all in."


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