At one point during their high school careers, twins C.J. and A.J. Moore thought they might want to separate and play against each other in college.
But after thinking about it and examining their options, they knew that wasn't a) realistic or b) what they really wanted.
"We couldn't ask our family to try to go to two games every Saturday and, besides, I don't know what I'd do without this guy," said C.J. pointing to A.J., who, as is most always the case, right by his side. "Then, we both fell in love with Ole Miss at first sight. That made the decision a lot easier to stay together. The campus, Coach (Hugh) Freeze, it was no-brainer for us."
A.J. backs up Tony Conner at Husky. C.J. backs up Mike Hilton, along with Chief Brown, at Rover, but until this semester in school, that's about as far apart as you are going to find them.
"We even took the same classes first semester, but I'm in engineering and he's in accounting so this semester we got separated," A.J. smiled.
A.J. got a dose of SEC reality last season as a true freshman playing on some special teams and spelling Conner a bit. His head was spinning, he admits, but he fought through and now things have slowed down in spring training.
"I'm getting more playing time, which I'm happy about," A.J. noted. "Things are moving a lot slower for me now. I read things better. My run/pass reads are better and I can react quicker.
"I feel lighter on my feet even though I am getting a little bigger and stronger. It's all coming together."
Obviously, Conner is A.J.'s player mentor.
"As soon as I got here, Tony took me under his wing. He told me I was going to have good plays and bad plays, but to put it behind me and move to the next play, push forward, and that's what I do," noted A.J. "He's been really great with me and he is such a tremendous player. He's so tough - one of the toughest on the team. He's all business in practice - he carries himself like a professional now. I look up to him and have a great deal of respect for Tony."
C.J. has also learned a lot now that he knows the Rover spot better.
"My eyes are better, I can read my keys better and my reaction time to what I see is much faster," he stated. "When you can react quicker, you can make plays you couldn't make just last season."
Mike Hilton and Trae Elston have mentored and tutored C.J. the most.
"They've taught a lot about reading my keys quicker and reacting quicker, which has helped me a lot," C.J. stated. "Our veteran players are always helping us. We are tight. We have both been blessed with great teammates."
They both admit going against the Rebs' talented bevy of receivers is a challenge every day.
"It's very intense to go against those guys. When you go against guys the size of Evan Engram or Demore'ea Stringfellow, some big guys, you really have to be tuned in and give it your all, and that's every snap against our receivers," noted C.J.
The twins entered the team meeting room for the interview together, interviewed at the same time and left together.
"I can't be without this guy," said C.J. and the sentiment was echoed by A.J.
Not surprisingly, they are even together on their goals for next year.
"Both of us just want to help the team the best we can to keep can," A.J. spoke for both.
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