Vanderbilt University Commodores
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Broome High School
"He does it all," Vanderbilt head coach Bobby Johnson said about Moore. "If he were a wide receiver by trade, he would be a fantastic one. He's a kick returner. He almost had an interception one time and their guy made a great play on it. He is physical, came up and made some great tackles. He's a top-notch player."
Moore says he is just eager to help out any way he can. All the Vanderbilt coaching staff needs to do is ask. "I do what they ask me to do," Moore said of his different roles. "If they asked me to do anything, I'll do it because I'm part of the team. If they ask me to do it, I try to do it."
Moore's ability amazes some of his teammates. Bradley Vierling is a center. He sees Moore doing things on the field he can only dream of. "D.J. makes everything look easy,'' Vierling said. "He makes everyone else look like school kids running around out there. He is a great athlete.''
Moore's future will come sooner rather than later. A junior, he opted to leave early for the 2009 NFL draft. His versatility adds to his value. "He is just a ball player,'' Johnson said. That's the highest compliment.
Moore was a four-year starter at Broome High School, competing mostly as a wide receiver and defensive back. He was named South Carolina Class AA Special Teams Player of the Year and Region 2-2A Player of the Year as a senior. The two-time All-State receiver had 48 receptions for 896 yards and fourteen touchdowns during his final campaign. His lone rushing attempt was good for an 84-yard score.
In addition, Moore returned three punts for touchdowns and totaled 39 tackles with six interceptions on defense. He helped lead the squad to the 2004 state title, earning MVP honors in championship game. He also posted five receptions and a touchdown in the postseason Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.
Moore was also a three-time All-State selection in basketball, as he led that team to the state title as junior. That season, he averaged 14 points, 10 rebounds and five assists per game. Adding to his athletic resume, he was the reigning high jump state champion with a personal best of 6'6".
Broome High head coach Quay Farr said at the time Moore signed with Vanderbilt, "D.J. was Mr. Everything for us, just quite a player and quite a young man. He brings some many things, excellent leaping ability, great hands and speed, and lots of intelligence on the field. He just brings a whole lot. He is not a one-dimensional player at all. I think D.J. has a change to play a number of positions for Vanderbilt."
As a true freshman, Moore shared left cornerback duties with Josh Allen, starting nine contests. He was named Specialist of the Week in his collegiate debut vs. Michigan, going on to record 37 tackles (27 solos), as he shared the team lead with three fumble recoveries and also had two pass deflections, along with one interception.
Moore started every game at left cornerback in 2007, in addition to handling the bulk of kickoff return chores. The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference first-team choice was named the squad's Defensive MVP, as he ranked second on the team with 83 tackles (63 solos), adding a 9-yard sack and two stops for loss. His six interceptions rank tied for fifth on the school season-record list, as he returned one for a touchdown. He also deflected ten passes and ranked fourth in the league with a 25.7-yard average (tied the Commodore season-record) on 32 kickoff returns. In brief action on offense, he gained 78 yards on six carries (13.0 avg).
In 2008, the junior started all year at left cornerback, but also played a variety of roles for the special team and offensive units. He produced 58 tackles (30 solos) that included one sack among his 4.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He caused and recovered a fumble, broke up seven passes and tied his career-high with six interceptions.
On offense, he carried nine times for 76 yards (8.4 avg) and snared seven passes for 143 yards (20.4 avg), including two touchdowns. He returned 21 kickoffs for 407 yards (19.4 avg) and amassed 244 yards on 17 punt returns, ranking third in the league and 11th nationally with a 14.35-yard average.
After the Music City Bowl, the Commodores' All-American defensive back made it known to the rest of the world that he will forgo his final season of eligibility and make himself available for the NFL Draft in April. Moore revealed his decision during a post-game interview with ESPN and reaffirmed a short time later after he showered and dressed. "About the middle of the season I decided I was good enough to leave," he said. "I had done well. ... I wanted to be All-American, so once I was (second-team) All-American there was pretty much nothing left to do."
Moore registered 13 interceptions during his All-American career with the Commodores.
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
2008 GAME ANALYSIS
South Carolina: Moore added four tackles (1 solo), including one tackle for loss, a pass break-up, two punt returns for 21 yards, and two kickoff returns for 39 yards in the team's 24-17 upset of No. 24 South Carolina…Early in the first quarter, Moore tackled South Carolina wide receiver Kenny McKinley for a 2-yard loss on a pass reception…With 2:33 remaining in the first quarter, Vandy safety Reshard Langford intercepted a Chris Smelley pass that was initially deflected by Moore.
Rice: The Vandy cornerback posted 206 all-purpose yards in the Commodores' 38-21 victory over Rice, including 84 yards on punt returns, 54 yards on kick returns, 37 rushing yards, and 31 yards on an interception return, and added four tackles (1 solo) and one pass break-up…"I think in the second half we really got it going. We got more pressure on the quarterback and that settled our defense. On a punt return, as long as I catch it, I believe I should score or get close to scoring just about every time. I thought I scored. I don't know about that one," said Moore after the game…With 6:24 remaining in the first quarter, Moore took a direct snap on offense and rushed 24 yards for a first down at the Rice 11-yard line…Midway through the third quarter, on 3rd-&-1 from the Vandy 39-yard line, Moore rushed for 13 yards to give the Commodore offense a first down…Near the 10:00 mark in the fourth quarter, Moore set up Vandy quarterback Chris Nickson's 1-yard touchdown run with a 67-yard punt return to the Rice 1-yard line…Midway through the fourth quarter, Rice quarterback Chase Clement was picked off at the Vandy 6-yard line by Moore, who returned the interception 31 yards.
Mississippi: Moore contributed two solo tackles, one fumble recovery, and one 17-yard kickoff return to Vandy's 23-17 victory over Ole Miss…Midway through the second quarter, on 3rd-&-6 from the Rebel 20-yard line, Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead completed a 10-yard pass to wide receiver Dexter McCluster, who picked up the first down before being tackled by Moore…With 2:40 remaining in the game, Vandy linebacker Chris Marve thwarted a Rebel rally when he forced McCluster to fumble the ball into the end zone on a rushing attempt, which was recovered by Moore.
Auburn: Moore posted six tackles (2 solos), one pass break-up, three kickoff returns for 45 yards, and one punt return for 25 yards in Vanderbilt's 14-13 victory over 13th-ranked Auburn…Near the end of the first half, Moore broke up a pass from Auburn quarterback Chris Todd to wide receiver Mario Fannin and, two plays later, returned a punt 25 yards to the Auburn 30-yard line, setting up a Vanderbilt touchdown with 0:39 left before halftime… With just minutes remaining in the game, on 3rd-&-2 from the Auburn 29-yard line, Moore and a teammate tackled running back Ben Tate after a 1-yard gain, forcing fourth down.
Mississippi State: Moore was credited with three tackles (1 solo), one pass break-up, three punt returns for 20 yards, and three kickoff returns for 62 yards in the Commodores' first loss of the season, a 17-14 setback to SEC bottom-dwellers Mississippi State…Near the end of the first half, Moore broke up a pass from MSU quarterback Tyson Lee to wide receiver Delmon Robinson deep in Bulldog territory…Early in the third quarter, Moore allowed Tyson Lee to rush for 8 yards and a first down on a 3rd-&-7 play from the Vandy 14-yard line.
Georgia: Moore continued to be a multi-purpose threat for the Commodores, posting six tackles (5 solos), one interception, two carries on offense for 14 yards, two punt returns for -3 yards, and two kickoff returns for 25 yards in Vandy's hard-fought 24-14 loss to No. 10 Georgia…With 1:04 remaining in the first quarter, Georgia freshman wide receiver A.J. Green made a leaping catch in the end zone over Moore for a 17-yard touchdown…At the 12:08 mark in the second quarter, Moore picked off Georgia QB Matthew Stafford's deep pass intended for receiver Mohamed Massaquoi at the Vandy 2-yard line. The interception tied Moore with safety Reshard Langford as Vanderbilt's active leaders in interceptions, with 10 apiece…With less than four minutes remaining in the first half, UGA tailback Knowshon Moreno broke off an 18-yard run before being dragged down by Moore at the Vandy 24-yard line…At the start of the third quarter, Moreno gained 19 yards on a rushing attempt before being wrapped up by Moore near midfield. Later in the drive, Moore got his revenge, stopping Moreno for no gain at the Vandy 11-yard line.
Duke: Moore contributed three tackles (2 solos), two pass break-ups, one rushing attempt for 2 yards, two punt returns for 1 yard, and two kickoff returns for 32 yards to Vanderbilt's 10-7 loss to the Blue Devils…With 10:59 remaining in the second quarter, on 3rd-&-10 from the Duke 40-yard line, Blue Devil quarterback Thaddeus Lewis completed a 14-yard pass for a first down to Johnny Williams with Moore in coverage. Later in the drive, Moore broke up a Lewis pass intended for Williams…With less than a minute left before halftime, Moore deflected a Lewis pass intended for Donovan Varner on second down.
Florida: Moore recorded six tackles (2 solos), one interception return for 24 yards, one punt return for -3 yards, and four kickoff returns for 90 yards in Vanderbilt's 42-14 loss to the SEC East Division champion Florida Gators…Following his 32-yard kickoff return with 9:39 remaining in the third quarter, Moore was flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty, moving the Vandy offense back to their own 19-yard line…At the 12:35 mark in the fourth quarter, Moore fumbled the ball during a punt return, but Vandy retained possession when the ball was recovered out-of-bounds at their own 13-yard line…With 3:45 remaining in the game, Moore intercepted Florida quarterback John Brantley at the Gator's 45-yard line, the cornerback's fourth pick of the year, and returned it 24 yards… Record Watch-Moore's fourth-quarter interception gave him 11 for his career, tying him with Christie Hauck (1967-69) and Manuel Young (1980-84) for fifth-best in school history.
Kentucky: Moore scored two touchdowns, which occurred on his first two career receptions, and intercepted two passes, as Vanderbilt defeated Kentucky, 31-24, to become bowl eligible for the first time in 26 years…Moore finished the contest with four tackles (3 solos), two interceptions, three receptions for 51 yards and two touchdowns, and one punt return for 1 yard…With 9:31 remaining in the first quarter, on 4th-&-4 from the Kentucky 25-yard line, Vandy quarterback Chris Nickson threw a scoring strike to Moore to put the Commodores on top, 7-0…On Vandy's subsequent drive, Nickson found Moore in the end zone once again, this time for an 18-yard touchdown on a 3rd-&-4 play…Early in the second quarter, Moore broke off a 15-yard rush on a direct snap from center, but the play was negated due to a holding penalty on the Commodores' Ryan Custer…With 4:19 remaining in the first half, Moore intercepted a pass from Kentucky quarterback Randall Cobb at the Wildcat's 21-yard line, setting up Vandy's third touch-down of the game…With seconds remaining before halftime, on 3rd-&-5 from the Kentucky 35-yard line, Moore caught a pass from Chris Nickson and gained 8 yards for the first down…At the 11:45 mark in the third quarter, Moore fielded a punt at the Vandy 11-yard line and was stripped of the ball, which was recovered by Kentucky's Mike Schwindel, setting up Kentucky's second touchdown of the afternoon…Near the end of the third quarter, Kentucky quarterback Randall Cobb completed a pass to tight end Maurice Ginter, who gained 34 yards before being dragged down by Moore…With 2:52 remaining in the game, on 4th-&-4 from the Vandy 23-yard line, Cobb was intercepted at the 17-yard line by Moore, thwarting a Kentucky scoring threat.
Tennessee: Starting at both wide receiver and defensive back for the first time in his Vanderbilt career, Moore recorded eight tackles (4 solos), including 2.5 tackles for loss, a new single-game season high, one carry for no gain, two catches for 32 yards, and two kickoff returns for 43 yards in the Commodores disappointing 20-10 loss to intrastate rival Tennessee…At the 9:40 mark in the second quarter, Tennessee running back Montario Hardesty broke off a 27-yard run to the Vandy 8-yard line before being dragged down by Moore…With a few minutes remaining in the third quarter, Moore talked Tennessee's Eric Berry 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage on a rushing attempt…Midway through the fourth quarter, Moore stopped Vols tailback Arian Foster for a 5-yard loss at he Vandy 41-yard line…With 6:02 left in the game, Vandy quarterback Mackenzie Adams completed an 11-yard pass to Moore for a first down. Later in the drive, on 4th-&-9 from the Vandy 40-yard line, Moore hauled in a 21-yard pass from Adams for a first down to keep the drive alive.
Wake Forest: Moore had a relatively quiet game vs. the Demon Deacons, finishing with three tackles (2 solos), two carries for 20 yards, and two catches for a team-leading 60 yards in Vanderbilt's 23-10 loss to their ACC foe…With 1:37 remaining in the first quarter, Moore hauled in a 54-yard pass from quarterback Mackenzie Adams, the longest reception of Moore's career…At the 6:54 mark in the third quarter, Moore gained 13 yards on a rushing attempt to pick up a first down…Early in the fourth quarter, on 3rd-&-5 from the Vandy 49-yard line, Wake Forest quarterback Riley Skinner completed a pass to D.J. Boldin, who was limited to a 4-yard gain by Moore, forcing the Demon Deacons to punt… With less than two minutes remaining in the game, on 4th-&-12 from the Vandy 23-yard line, Commodore quarterback Larry Smith threw incomplete to Moore, who was unable to haul in the pass, giving the ball back to Wake Forest on downs.
Boston College (Music City Bowl): Before leaving in the second half with an ankle injury, Moore posted four tackles (2 solos), one pass break-up, and one rush for 3 yards in Vanderbilt's first bowl victory in 53 years, a 16-14 win over Boston College in the Music City Bowl…With 9:55 remaining in the second quarter, Moore deflected a deep pass by BC quarterback Dominique Davis to wide receiver Ifeanyi Momah at the Commodore 15-yard line, which was intercepted by Vandy safety Ryan Hamilton to thwart an Eagles scoring threat. Momah rolled over Moore's left ankle on the play, causing the cornerback to limp to the sideline…The coaches told the junior that his day was done due to the injury, but Moore showed his "gladiator" attitude and went into the locker room, got his ankle taped and played in the second half…At the 10:35 mark in the third quarter, on 3rd-&-10 from the BC 30-yard line, Dominique Davis completed a 6-yard pass to tailback Montel Harris, who was tackled short of the first down by Moore, forcing the Eagles to punt the ball away.
2007 GAME HIGHLIGHTS
2006 GAME HIGHLIGHTS
2007: Suffered a chest contusion vs. Tennessee (11/17).
COMBINE AGILITY TESTS
CAMPUS AGILITY TESTS
Agree? Disagree? Discuss this hot topic on our message boards RIGHT HERE.
Featured on countless radio and television shows since the age of 14, Dave-Te' Thomas is also an accomplished sports writer, talent evaluator and scouting personnel consultant for most of the teams in the NFL.