Wide receivers coach Pat Washington told ShowMeMizzou.com that he would begin the spring with three wide receivers atop the Depth Chart that he prefers to refer to as “beginners” rather than “starters”, in what he called a “wide open” competition for the starting jobs.
One of the more experienced “beginners” was sophomore J’Mon Moore, a very talented youngster who saw the field a year ago in somewhat limited action, as he finished up his red-shirt freshman campaign with 2 receptions for 33 yards.
So this spring, Moore received a long look on the outside. Moore began the spring as the number one at the X WR position, which always lines up on the left side of the field, and ultimately finished there as well with a strong performance down the stretch.
Moore arrived on campus less than two years ago and immediately turned heads with his athleticism, his combination of size and speed, and the kind of elusiveness after the catch that is usually associated with a smaller receiver. But with all of the veteran receivers Missouri put on the field the last two seasons, Moore remained in the background. Now is his time to step forward.
This spring, Moore posted a 4.50-second 40-yard dash, to go along with a 39” standing vertical and 14 reps at 225 pounds in the bench press. He was disappointed in his forty time, citing a poor start.
But perhaps most importantly this spring, Moore’s demonstrating more maturity.
“When you play for Coach Pinkel, you have a lot of standards that you have to meet,” explained Moore. “Just being accountable to this team, and knowing that your teammates are going to hold you accountable, is really what it’s all about. No one’s above the team. You’re going to do it the Mizzou way, or you won’t be here.”
It’s taken Moore some time to arrive at this mind set. I asked him if that’s coming from his heart?
“It definitely is (coming from my heart), “ explained Moore. “You know, me being who I am, I’m hard-headed. But you know, Coach Pinkel has like molded me into somebody else.”
As I listened to Moore, it was evident that he’s maturing, and I couldn’t help but be reminded of L’Damian Washington, who underwent a similar maturation at about the same stage of his Missouri career.
Moore is a different type of receiver than was Washington, though. He’s not as fast, and it’s been easier for him to add size. Moore is more of a run-after-catch guy, although he does have the speed to get deep on occasion.
In keeping with his run-after-catch ability, the elusive Moore begins the spring listed as the number two punt return man.
But his primary focus is on being the best he can be at wide receiver, and turning his “beginner” status into a starting job this fall.
He seems to have helped his cause in his quest for a starting job. He finished spring ball in the number one spot.
Moore exhibits solid receiving technique with his hands, although at times, he fails to look the ball in. He’s aware of the latter, and correcting that habit was one of his major goals this spring.