June 9, 2010

Moore overcomes adversity, adds SEC offer

Collins Moore didn't know what to expect when he arrived at Ole Miss on Saturday for the Rebels' invitation-only elite camp.

The three-star wide receiver from Madison (Bob Jones), Ala., didn't know any of the other prospects in Oxford and only knew Ole Miss co-offensive coordinator Mike Markuson from the recruiting trail.

"I kind of felt like my back was against the wall," Moore said.

Then, shortly after the start of the camp Saturday afternoon, Moore injured a groin muscle while running a 40-yard dash.

"It happened and to be honest, I didn't really tell them until after the first session of one-on-ones," Moore said. "I came that far, and I can't quit. It paid off in the long run. The staff treated me very well with my injury. They helped me with stretching and icing and that type of stuff. I guess I'm pretty pleased with how I did.

"I was able to do one-on-ones again the second day. It showed me how they'd treat me in certain situations."

Moore, a 6-foot-2, 180-pounder, still ran a 4.6-second 40-yard dash and recorded a 35.5-inch vertical jump. On the field, he appeared polished and smooth, running crisp routes and catching the football effortlessly. The Ole Miss staff apparently noticed, as Moore left Oxford with a Rebel offer.

"They said they were very impressed," Moore said. "They said they liked my mannerisms and how I carried myself."

Moore was equally impressed with Ole Miss.

"I like the facilities a lot," Moore said. "I like what they have to offer. I really like the coaches and what they did in the past season. I liked (Ole Miss wide receivers coach Ron Dickerson Jr.) a lot. He's a really cool guy. He's very straight forward. He's not going to lead you astray. I liked that about him."

Moore said he got a chance to spend some quality time with Rebel head coach Houston Nutt as well.

"It was very neat," Moore said. "He's very down to earth. What you see is what you get. I liked him a lot. I've been around a lot of coaches and I kind of felt like I could be myself around him whereas in other situations, you feel like you have to be a certain way around them."

Moore, ranked as the No. 43 wide receiver in the country by Rivals.com, also has offers from Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU and Tulane. He said Ole Miss' offer puts the Rebels "pretty high up there. Of course, I would like to go to an SEC school. It's the toughest conference in America, and I want to play against and with the best of the best."

The addition of offers from Ole Miss and LSU, Moore said, has also changed his decision timetable.

"I was planning to do it right before school starts," Moore said. "In the beginning, it was just Kentucky and Tulane and it was a no-brainer. I've learned to keep my options open. I need to see how these teams do."

Moore, who has a 3.2 core grade-point average, will take the ACT for the first time Saturday. He said his decision will be based on two things, playing time and education -- but not necessarily in that order.

"It's education first," Moore said. "I want to know what I can take from them for life after football. I won't be able to play all my life. Then I want to know how early will I be able to play. Will I be an impact player to the team?"

Moore said he plans to visit LSU unofficially next month.

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