Moore: "I Love the Game So Much"

True freshman free safety Rahim Moore says he's learned a lot this season, from being thrown into the fire as a starer and from veteran Alterraun Verner. He calls himself passionate and excitable, especially about the game of football, and someone who "can do it all"...

Freshman safety Rahim Moore spoke to BRO Tuesday.

How has your development as a player gone this season?

"It's been good. I'm in my learning process right now. Every day I'm learning. I make a lot of mistakes. I do a few good things but I'm still learning as the days go on. But I think my development in terms of me just loving football more. The more I put in here, it shows on the field. I'm feeling more comfortable and more confident when I'm out there instead of me being so hyperactive and excited. I'm more of a team player, I've always been, but I'm for the team. I do as much as I can to contribute for us to win. I'm just learning how to work with other people, just learning a better way for the scheme of the defense. There's still more to come."


What are some of the little things that you've picked up on this season?

"I always study these dudes' tendencies. I always watch these quarterbacks and see -- do they telegraph their throws? Do they like throwing to certain sides? Does the quarterback make good decisions? I pick up on the good running backs in the country. I picked up just the speed of the game, how things are going. If guys are looking the way that they're going or if quarterbacks are switching their audibles. It's a lot going on out there. Those little minor things I pick up."


What's it like playing with guys like Alterraun Verner and Michael Norris who have been around a few years?

"Alterraun, man, that's pretty much like my god-brother. I told him he's my god-brother. He's helped me out so many times. We go out and treat each other and have good talks and everything. Talk about God and football and life. The guy's really helped me out. Me and Mike have been getting real close. Me and him just joke around. We spend a lot of time together. We see each other on campus. Say a few things, tell a few jokes. But these guys are good. For me coming from where I came from to here, I have no regrets. These guys are friendly. One thing about the guys on this team, they have good hearts. Not only are they good football players but off the field, they're real generous. That's one thing I like and that's one thing you expect coming to a place like this."


What's your natural position? Safety? Corner?

"Man, pretty much I'm not going to say it but I feel I can do it all. I put my mind to it, I can do it. I'm pretty much a hybrid. I don't want to be one-dimensional, just a free safety. I get back into coverage sometimes, I like to be in the box, in the post, do a lot things. I love to be everywhere. Whatever coach tells me to do, I'm willing to do it. One thing I do is cherish playing free safety. A lot of guys that play free safety just play it. I cherish playing free safety. I like being the last line of defense. I like the team to rely on me to be the deep ball threat and for me to make sure nobody gets behind me. I like the responsibility. It teaches me how to grow up. Guys at first were a little skeptical but now a lot of guys have more trust. But I still have to go out there and make more plays. Like I said, I'm still learning. A lot of new things come to me everyday and I'm just soaking everything in."


As a true freshman, is there a lot of pressure being the last line of defense?

"It is. It's a lot of pressure period. There's a lot of pressure in this world but I welcome everything. It makes me stay on my Ps and Qs. Every play I feel like ‘Rahim, they're about to come at me.' I pretty much have to feel that way. I'm the quarterback of the defense so I got to feel like ‘Ok, here they come.' People see me and say, ‘let's try this guy out.' A few guys got me, a few teams got me. I was a little mad but I brush it off and just went about the next play. And that was it."


A year ago today, did you think you'd be making your tenth career start at this point in the season?

"I never thought about the tenth career. I was just thinking about me learning first before I do anything. Like Coach (DeWayne) Walker said, ‘You've got the athleticism but you got to learn the playbook.' It was a good struggle for me. Just knowing all these plays and being pushed in with the ones. But it all paid off and I'm actually glad I was in that predicament. I know a lot of individuals don't get this opportunity and I'm just blessed to have it. I thank God, I thank coach (Rick) Neuheisel and everybody for trusting in me. Like I said, I'm going to do all I can to make people trust me more to help us win games. Make plays, be around the ball, pick up fumbles, get interceptions, nice hits and tackles; I'm going to do all I can. That's part of being a person who adores and loves football -- cherish it. Have a lot of passion. That's just how it is."


A lot of people say your strength is your motor and that you're always flying around the field. What do you think is your biggest strength?

"I agree with that one. I love the game so much. I've been playing since '95. I personally feel I was made for this sport. I've always been a rough guy. I've never been a pretty boy. I've always been down and dirty and football, I just love this game so much. I just can't imagine myself being anywhere else. You got to have a back-up plan but I love football so much. Right now all I care about is God, grades, family and football. I'm not worried about nothing else. I'm just focused right now. Off the field, I'm very hyperactive and I'm very excited. I'm not a trash talker or anything but I love football. Every time I go out there, I want to be around everything. I look at Ed Reed and the good safeties and they're always around the ball. I'm just doing the same thing. I've always done that. I just love it and I'm going to keep doing it. Do all I can for us to win. That's the main criteria right now, winning. It's not about me or my stats, I could care less about my stats. I just want to win. When you win, everybody notices you. It's about time to make a change around here. "


Let's talk about your stats. What does it mean to you to lead the team in interceptions as a true freshman?

"It's cool. I appreciate it. That's not something I really look at. I just do it for the team to win. Me and Vern got a little competition going. Trying to see who's going to be the first to reach 3, 4, 5, etc."


What's the winner get?

"I think I'm going to take Vern out if Vern wins, which I highly doubt. I'll probably treat Vern to one of my favorite restaurants, Cheesecake Factory or something like that. I'll treat him to something good. But if I win, he's got to take me to Benihana's or something. We've got a good little deal between each other. He knows it's all for the love. I count on Vern on a lot of things that he does and he does the same thing for me. When I see Vern make plays, I say ‘I gotta make me some, too.' I learn from that guy. He's a good role model."


Looking at Washington, which is the only winless team in the nation, how big is this game?

"Everybody has to be on their A game because, on film, they don't look like an 0-22 team or whatever they are. These guys have good athletes, a lot of good freshmen. A lot of these guys I knew when I played all-stars. These guys are good. Their receivers are good, their running backs. This is not no gimme game. They want to go up there and beat us. This game is very critical. We're hungry for a win and they're hungry for a win. I can't wait. It's going to be a good experience. Just seeing these other stadiums. Seeing other environments. I can't wait. I'm a little too anxious sometimes for these games but I can't wait. I want to get this win for the team, for the seniors and also for Coach Neuheisel."

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