It was better late than never for Oklahoma and L.J. Moore. The Sooners’ cornerback signee waited until signing day to pick OU after an on-again, off-again recruitment during his senior season. Moore has a chance to play early and make an impact on a Sooners defense in dire need of quality cornerbacks.
Before he arrived on campus earlier this month, Moore took some time to talk with SoonerNation about his hopes for the future, potential role as a freshman and when he knew Norman would be his college choice.
SoonerNation: What are you looking forward to the most?
L.J. Moore: Learning a new environment and getting to play with a bunch of guys I’ve never played with before.
SN: At what point did you feel like OU was the right place for you?
Moore: A couple weeks before signing day.
SN: What happened during that time?
Moore: The last visit with Coach Mike (Stoops) sealed the deal. I realized it was the best opportunity for me, the best place for me and a place I would fit in well. So I was just excited about it and I made the decision that Norman would be a great place for me.
SN: OU is looking for cornerbacks. What impact did the fact you could step on campus and potentially play right away have?
Moore: As a football player you want to be on the field as soon as possible, as much as possible. That definitely played a part because that’s a goal of mine, to play as a true freshman. I felt like I could come in and have a chance to prove myself, that I should be on the field.
SN: OU has one of the best corners in the nation in Aaron Colvin. How will his decision to come back help you?
Moore: It will be great to get to learn stuff from him and learn the stuff that made him the corner he is. It also helps that I get to see him on the field playing, with a corner like that on the other side maybe you don’t have as much responsibility and you can learn at a slower pace and still be on the field.
SN: Do you know you’ll be rooming with?
Moore: I think I’ll be rooming with Dakota Austin.
SN: What things have you been working on to prepare yourself?
Moore: One thing everyone has said is real important is to stay in shape and being ready to learn and show I can endure whatever physical task I have to do. The other thing is just getting stronger, as I’ve been working out here and maintaining my speed.
SN: Is there anything fundamentally or technique-wise?
Moore: I definitely want to work on using my feet at the line of scrimmage. I like to jam a lot, press a lot, so I’m always fine tuning my feet and trying to get better footwork at the line of scrimmage. Then maintaining my tackling form, knowing that I’m moving up a level and the players are going to start changing.
SN: What have the coaches told you about your potential role?
Moore: They said I’ll definitely have the opportunity to come in and play some corner, so that’s a positive. They said I could be a good nickel as well, knowing they play a nickel package 90 percent of the game. Either way it sounds like if I come in and handle the business I need to, I’ll be able to get on the field early.
SN: Is there any Sooner you might consider a mentor other than Colvin?
Moore: Jalen Saunders. He’s from my area, I knew him before and seeing how well he’s growing as a player on the offensive side of the ball. I work out with him because I know he’s a good receiver, he’s real shifty and I need to work on staying in front of small receivers that are faster than the bigger ones.
SN: How will having Hatari (Byrd) coming with you help as far as having familiar faces around?
Moore: That’s always a plus. Knowing somebody from California, because that (Oklahoma) is far away, having him that will provide some comfortability and knowing Jalen is there will provide a comfortable environment.
SN: How much have you talked about playing together for three or four years?
Moore: Our goal is to play at the next level, after college. It’s going to be great having somebody back there and I have already played with and am familiar with. I seems like that will help us going into camp, being able to communicate with each other and show we can play on the field as well as anyone else.
SN: How much did knowing Coach Mike would push you to reach your dreams, reach that next level, help when he was recruiting you?
Moore: Coach Mike did a great job recruiting me. I watched his style of coaching and he’s a fiery coach that seems like will keep me going and always keep me on type of my game. I’m very excited about the situation with Coach Mike.
SN: When you leave OU, what do you want your legacy to be?
Moore: I want to be remembered as a hard worker who kept working hard to be the player he wanted to be. Somebody who had a lot of interceptions, gave a lot of help on the defense side of the ball and in the program.