While Mack Brown and the Texas Longhorns faithful were celebrating the fact that leading receiver Mike Davis will, in fact, return for his senior season, the team lost junior defensive tackle Brandon Moore to the allure of the NFL.
Moore signed with the team a year ago as a highly-regarded junior college prospect from East Mississippi Community College. He played in 12 games for Texas in 2012 (starting five) and recorded 18 tackles, including eight tackles for loss and two sacks. He was a starter in Texas' 31-27 victory over Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl but did not record a tackle in what will apparently be his final collegiate game.
"I want to thank Coach Brown, Coach [Bo] Davis and everyone at Texas," Moore said in a release. "I enjoyed my time and really appreciate the opportunity I had to play for the Longhorns, but my lifelong dream 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."
The 6-foot-5, 320-pound Moore is a Montgomery, Ala., native who signed out of high school with Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. He redshirted there in 2009 and registered six tackles in four games as a backup in 2010. For violating unspecified team rules, Saban placed Moore on indefinite suspension in March 2011. Moore elected to transfer to EMCC. By posting 38 tackles, including four tackles for loss and three sacks, he helped EMCC win the NJCAA national championship and emerge as a highly-regarded junior college prospect.
Moore established himself as a key component up front for the Longhorns in his one season in Austin but wasn't the dominant force some anticipated after he'd turned heads throughout spring practices. He has just average quickness off the snap and plays higher than scouts would like but possesses long arms and the power to anchor as well as pushing the pocket as a bull-rusher.
Because of his length, strength and the fact that he has been successful inside as a 4-3 defensive tackle and outside as a 3-4 defensive end, he could draw middle- to late-round consideration from NFL teams willing to gamble on his upside.
While talented, Moore will have to answer questions about his suspension from Alabama and the fact he has never been very statistically productive in his three stops at the collegiate level. His stock isn't aided by the fact that he's joining a defensive tackle class that already boasts several other higher-regarded underclassmen and is viewed by talent evaluators as one of the most talented and deep positions of the 2013 draft pool.