Skai Moore excited about opportunity with USC

Gamecocks entered the picture a week before Christmas

GoGamecocks staff reportsFebruary 14, 2013 

Skai Moore and his mother on signing day.

South Carolina won the battle for linebacker Skai Moore of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., last week when he announced he would sign with the Gamecocks over Vanderbilt and Rutgers.

He also got a late offer from Miami but never seriously considered it.

Moore (6-2, 205) once was committed to Rutgers but decommitted in early January. He later visited Columbia, and the Gamecocks rose to the top of his list. He also took a visit to Wisconsin. Some of his other offers were Nebraska, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, West Virginia, Texas A&M and Ohio State.

Last season Moore had 105 tackles with 6.5 sacks and 4 interceptions.

He joined Daphne, Ala., linebacker Jonathan Walton on signing day as officially joining the Gamecocks.

Here's what Moore had to say about his decision.

Why South Carolina?

To be able to play on the big stage, to be on a high profile team such as South Carolina, I felt like I couldn't pass up that opportunity. I've established a great relationship with Coach [Grady] Brown, Coach [Kirk] Botkin as well as Coach [Steve] Spurrier. My opportunity to go in there and play pretty early is a great one. If I do what I've got to do, I could be in there starting from day one. I'm very excited and ready to get up there.

What do you like about Kirk Botkin?

He's a very vibrant coach. He's very lively. He seems like he can teach me a lot and mold me into a great football player. I'm ready to go up there and play for him.

How do you view the linebackers situation at USC?

It's an equal playing field right now to go in there and compete. I know they signed a few guys in my class. There's no advantage. It's whoever is going to be the best player is going to play. That's something I'm excited about.

When did the Gamecocks come into the picture?

They came in a week before Christmas, or somewhere around there. At first I really wasn't high on them. But I took a visit and really got to know the coaches, even some of the guys in the recruiting class. Devin Washington, he's a cool guy. I established a great relationship with them.

Did you bond with the other players from Florida?

Ahmad Christian was my host up there. He's a really cool guy. Jordan Diggs as well, those guys are pretty cool. I feel like those guys are ready to grind and win a championship. That's what I'm all about as well.

Did you watch South Carolina at all this past season?

I watched the first game against Vanderbilt and the last game against Michigan. That Michigan game really intrigued me, just watching how the defense got after it and how tenacious they were. That's something I really want to be a part of. That's something I was a part of at University School, a defense with some dogs on it.

Talk about getting that late offer from Miami?

UM has been a dream school of mine ever since I was little and watching those guys play. It was my dream to go there. Things happen for a reason. They came in a little late. I feel like it was a little too late. It was an up-and-down thing. I was like "Wow, I got the offer." If that would have came two or three weeks ago, it might have been a different day for me. I feel like I made the right decision. I'm very excited about South Carolina.

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