After receiving only one scholarship offer out of O'Fallon High School, Moore transferred after one year at Eastern Illinois to Joliet Junior College, where he registered 40 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and eight sacks. After Wisconsin saw his highlight tape and play in person, the Badgers extended a scholarship offer, an offer that brought Moore to Madison.
One of the most outstanding players through the first two weeks of spring practice, Moore talked to Badger Nation about the journey to Wisconsin, how getting here early has helped the transition and what he's looking forward to this upcoming here.
Editor's Note: This interview was conducted before Moore suffered a serious left leg injury during the early goings of the March 29th practice. According to Bielema, Moore did not tear his ACL but will have to be off his leg for sixth weeks. I originally was not going to post the interview but after listening to it, felt that Moore said some very interesting things. I talked to Moore post injury and he said that he was doing well (still with a smile on his face) and plans to be ready by fall camp.
BN: Can you talk about the last couple months for you? Playing here, is sort of like a dream come true for you in the sense that you were really overlooked coming out of high school?
Dan Moore: The last couple of months have just been surreal. I want to say it hasn't set in for me yet but it kind of hasn't. Everything is so new in terms of the program. The lifts change everyday, we went through a six-week conditioning period that was entirely new and now spring ball. Everything is just new with the different installs and everything like that. I am having a great time because this is something I have been working for the last three years since I got out of high school.
BN: What was the biggest thing that stood out during that winter conditioning? You talk about never being through something like that before. What was so different about it?
Dan Moore: Just the speed of it and the expectations from the coaches. At the junior college level, you work out but the coaches aren't precision, precision, precision every time and they aren't pushing you to get better but every practice, the coaches are pushing you to take that next step everyday. That's what I find is the biggest difference.
BN: Do you find that that conditioning program has really helped the first few weeks of spring football?
Dan Moore: The strength coaches were getting me in big time shape and I could tell that my body has changed from the two months that I've been here. With the condition, I feel like I am in the best shape of my life at this point. They keep pushing us everyday, so there's something to improve upon.
BN: What has defensive line coach Charles Partridge done to get you acclimating to the college game?
Dan Moore: Coach Partridge is a great coach. I really like Coach Partridge. He's new, just like me coming in the same semester I did, so we're in the same boat. Everything is a little bit new for him, too.
BN: How important was it for you to get here after committing to get in, starting learning and working out?
Dan Moore: It was very important. Very important because now I have eight months before the season actually starts to lift, condition, learn the plays and go through spring ball. That way when fall camp comes, things will still be new, but I will be kind of comfortable with everything.
BN: What have you been the most comfortable with in your game through these first few weeks of practices? What have you felt that you have really done well?
Dan Moore: The one thing that I definitely need to continue to improve on is my fundamentals, my first step and striking. The one thing that I am kind of happy with is that I am holding my own right now. The coaches are disappointed in me in my level of play. They are encouraging and complementing, but there are still things that I need to still work on.
BN: You were recruited as a defensive tackle but in the depth chart, you are listed at a defensive end. What went into that decision or is the coaching staff trying to feel you out and see what you can do at that position?
Dan Moore: I am not sure where I am going to play because the coaches could change their minds at any minute. They really thought that I could be utilized at the end but I would like to think that I can play at any position on the line. Wherever coach tells me to play is where I am going to play.
BN: What has is been like to study under Matt Shaughnessy? He's the elder statesmen on the line right now and you're behind him. What have you taken away from him?
Dan Moore: It's been great. Matt Shaughnessy is a real character guy and he's taken me under his wing a little bit. I come off from a play and he'll tell me I need to do this and do this and do that and I did this wrong. He's really been helping me out a lot along the way.
BN: Have you thought what it's going to be like running out in front of the Camp Randall crowd for the first regular season game?
Dan Moore: Yeah, I have thought about it and it's so far away. It's going to be amazing. It's going to be the biggest crowd I have ever played in front of in my life. That will be another dream come true to come out of the tunnel for the first time.
BN: Is that dream kind of the light at the end of the tunnel for you?
Dan Moore: Exactly. It's going to be surreal to come out in front of 85,000 screaming fans. It's going to be great.
BN: Once you committed to Wisconsin and started looking at the program, what players on defense really stood out to you as being these stark playmakers and once you've been here, who has lived up to that reputation?
Dan Moore: Matt Shaughnessy for sure. Definitely. Mark Newkirk, too. I mean he's out right now but when's he's in, he's a beast. I mean, Jonathan Casillas, DeAndre Levy, Shane Carter, the list goes on and on. All those guys are great guys and just playing with them is, ‘Oh my gosh! I watched these guys on television and now I am actually in the same huddle with him.' It's kind of crazy.
BN: Is there any team that you are looking forward to playing this year? I know you are looking forward to playing every game you can play but is there one that out weights the others?
Dan Moore: I am definitely looking forward to the Ohio State game. We got them at Camp Randall and it's just crazy that I am going to be playing against Ohio State. I can't even believe it. It's going to be crazy but I am looking forward to a great season. We got Illinois for Homecoming, too. So, every game in the Big Ten is definitely something to look forward to and it's all new to me. It's going to be my first time doing everything.
BN: It's a far cry from Eastern Illinois isn't it?
Dan Moore: (laughing) There's definitely a little bit of a difference. I don't know if Ohio State would have played us (at Eastern).