L.J. Moore watched the rivalry from a distance last season. Now the four-star cornerback will witness Notre Dame-Michigan in person.
The 6-foot-1, 170-pound athlete from Fresno, Calif., will head to the Midwest during the final weekend of September for what figures to be his first official visit and will be his first look at Notre Dame. Moore, who also holds offers from Georgia, Oklahoma, Washington and UCLA, among others, scheduled the trip after a school visit by Irish assistant Mike Denbrock last week.
"I watched the (Notre Dame-Michigan) game last year and it was a great game and had pretty great tradition to go with it," Moore said. "I thought I might as well see that one. I love great college games."
For now, Moore's game day experiences have been limited to USC-UCLA, Arizona State-UCLA and Cal-Utah. Now Moore is ready to start looking off the West Coast for potential destinations. He added that Georgia is likely to get an official visit this fall too.
Notre Dame first saw Moore before it really began scouting him, when Moore was a first-year cornerback in a Central East defensive backfield that included future Rivals100 prospect and eventual Irish commit Tee Shepard. Moore joked that he didn't think Notre Dame was all that interested because he wasn't all that good.
More than a year later, Moore has proven himself to be the next top defensive back from Fresno, thanks in part to his work under defensive back guru Tony Perry, who also tutored Shepard.
"This was truly a surprise almost," Moore said. "Coach Tony Perry, I've worked with him every day over the summer and throughout the year. He's helped me compete at the cornerback position and I kind of just grew into it."
Moore said he maintains a relationship with Shepard after his spring fallout at Notre Dame, although the cornerback didn't call that a mark against the Irish.
"I think it's a positive (for Notre Dame) because it's the reason Tee went out there, even though it didn't work out, there's still a reason he chose Notre Dame and went out there over all the other schools he had. I don't know what really happened, so I can't say anything negative about it."
While the recruiting perspectives of Moore and Shepard might be different, both see Notre Dame for what it lacks in the secondary. Last year's Michigan game highlighted that. Moore will see a defensive backfield still short on numbers when he shows up in South Bend this fall.
"Just being the competitor that I am, I want a chance to come in and play as soon as I get there," Moore said. "Notre Dame seems like they have a lack of corners."