Though Joshua Moore lives halfway across the nation and has over 30 offers as a junior, something about Tennessee managed to catch the talented pass catcher’s eye.
“My interest is very high in Tennessee,” Moore told InsideTennessee.
It all began with his relationships with the Vols coaching staff.
“They’re always sending me messages and checking up on me, asking how I am,” the Yoakum (Texas) High School wide receiver said.
“(Tennessee wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni) is a real, real cool guy. Really funny guy. Who wouldn’t want a coach like that? He’s hilarious and he has a good personality with his players.”
Just as the Big Orange coaching staff has invested interest in the Scout 300 member, Moore has been doing the same — and has likes what he has seen so far.
“I do a lot of research on them,” the 6-foot-2, 173-pound Moore said. “I love the way they use their receivers. I love how (Tennessee) coach (Butch) Jones runs the program both on and off the field.”
The Scout No. 5-rated wide receiver in the Midland Region and No. 138 talent in the 2018 class has also been warmly welcomed by Tennessee’s notoriously passionate fans, who have reached out to him on social media.
“Tennessee fans, they always show me love on Twitter,” Moore said. “Almost every morning I wake up to a notification from a Tennessee fan telling me to come join the family.”
Moore visited Rocky Top last weekend and saw then-No. 14 Tennessee rally to beat then-No. 19 Florida 38-28 as part of a sellout crowd of 102,455. Along with him were his parents and brother, four-star athlete Jordan Moore, who is also being recruited by the Volunteers.
The speedster with 4.44 speed grew up in a family that consisted of various fan bases and watched several college football teams, including Houston, Texas A&M and others. His passion for track led him to become an LSU fan growing up, admiring the consistency of the Tigers sprinters.
LSU is one of the Texan’s most recent offers but with Les Miles no longer leading that program, schools like Tennessee have an opportunity to take advantage. Programs such as Baylor, Louisville, Ohio State, Texas and Texas A&M have also offered.
Don’t expect Moore to eliminate schools from contention anytime soon.
“As of now, I’m just focusing on my team,” the Yoakum High junior said. “After football season, I’ll start narrowing down all of my choices and where I want to go to visit and stuff like that.”
A specific aspect that Moore said he seeks in his future school, as a wide receiver, is his ability to bond with the quarterback.
“I definitely want to be with (a quarterback) that I can have a relationship with, if not before I commit, at least build one while I’m there,” he said.
After the No. 23-rated junior wideout determines the school that’s best for him, he intends on making a public declaration either on June 9 (younger siblings’ birthday) or on July 18, in honor of his late older brother.
“I want to make it a very special day.”
InsideTennessee managing editor Danny Parker contributed to this report.