In My Words With D.J. Moore

Nov. 26, 2008

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One of the most electrifying players in college football, junior cornerback/punt returner/kick returner/wide receiver D.J. Moore is Vanderbilt's Mr. Versatility. A preseason All-America selection by Athlon, Moore has been added to several individual watchlists, including the Jim Thorpe Award, Nagurski Trophy and Bednarik Award. It took Moore only one quarter into the 2008 season at Miami (Ohio) to show just how versatile he is. In that quarter, Moore had one interception, two tackles, forced a fumble on a sack that drove Miami out of field-goal range and returned the first punt of his career 91 yards. The plays led to 10 Vanderbilt points.

On growing up playing basketball and football

Basketball and football were my favorite sports growing up. It was a lot easier running around the basketball court than wearing shoulder pads on the football field. I just went from one season to the next, and I liked playing both of them.

On his high school basketball career

I started playing varsity when I was in ninth grade. I was a pretty decent point guard. I got a few offers from schools like Winthrop and Furman, but not from any big programs. I knew I was good enough to play in college, but I wanted to play football.

On when he first dunked despite being just 5-foot-9

I was in eighth grade when I first dunked. The first time I dunked in a game was when I was a senior. It was one of the best feelings.

On where he got his vertical leaping ability

I don't know. I didn't get it from my parents because my mom and my dad weren't really too athletic. My brothers are athletic, and I probably just developed it from playing different sports as a kid.

On high jumping 6'6" in high school

I started high jumping my sophomore year and did it the rest of the way through high school. I also did the long and triple jump and ran some, but I was never a blazer. I won the high jump at 6'6" my junior year. My senior year, I was ranked No. 1 (in the state) in long jump, triple jump and high jump, but I was runner-up in all three.

On bowling with guys on the team

A lot of guys on the team enjoy to bowl. Some days are better than others for me. A lot of times there are four or six of us that will bowl, and we will play two on two or three on three. It can get competitive.

On why he enjoys it

I just like going with the guys on the team and getting away. When I first started I wasn't very good, but after a while I got better and when you get good at something, you just like doing it.

On what he averages

I average 170 or 180. My high score is a 253.

On having high school teammate and childhood friend Teriall Brannon on the team

It is pretty nice to have him here with me. If I need something he is there for me. We have a good relationship and have roomed together every year since we got here.

On playing offense, defense and special teams

I like playing all three ways. It just gives me more of an opportunity to be on the field and try to make plays to help the team out.

On if he ever gets winded

The only time I've gotten winded was the first time I played all three sides (against Georgia last year). It was just at the beginning of the game that I was tired until I caught my wind. Since then, I haven't gotten tired.

On his favorite part of being cornerback

I like the challenge that it brings because there aren't too many people that can play corner. It is hard trying to defend someone who has the advantage of running straight at you. Getting an interception is one of the best parts because it can change momentum.

On the football player he grew up idolizing

Deion Sanders. I think every cornerback liked Deion growing up. He was such a good player to watch and learn from.

On the player he likes watching the most in the NFL

I like to watch Devin Hester (Chicago Bears) play. I really liked watching him in college at Miami.

On wearing No. 17

I had No. 16, but Teriall wanted to wear No. 16, so I switched my number to 17. I wanted No. 2, but it was already taken. I wore No. 2 since I was in little league all the way up to high school.



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