Moore talks pledge w/ video
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- All Skai Moore ever wanted was an offer from his dream school.
On Jan. 19, Moore Tweeted, "I really wanna know why Miami never offered me."
On Tuesday night, the Hurricanes did. After hearing about it from his defensive coordinator on Wednesday morning, it was too late.
Moore, a 4-star linebacker from Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) University School, committed to South Carolina on Wednesday at his high school, sticking with the game plan he and coach Roger Harriott had in place from the start.
"I felt like it was a little bit too late," Moore said. "Honestly, if they would've came in two or three weeks ago, this would've been a different story."
Added Harriott, "It was too late. It was his dream school. You can report that."
Moore, who was committed to Rutgers earlier this year, decommitted at the sound of SEC schools knocking at his door, especially after leading the University School defense with 16 tackles and a sack in its state title game.
Moore picked the Gamecocks over Rutgers and Vanderbilt among 40 other offers from schools like Louisville, Ohio State, Texas A&M and Wisconsin. He said that USC jumped in the picture around Christmas and his relationships with the coaches and players furthered his interest.
"I've established a great relationship with coach (Grady) Brown, coach (Kirk) Botkin, as well as coach (Steve) Spurrier, and my opportunity to go in there pretty early and play is a great one, so if I do what I gotta do, I could be starting from Day 1," Moore said.
Moore said that playing at USC became "an open playing field" with the departure of five senior linebackers. And while Moore joins a 2013 USC recruiting class with four linebackers already in Larenz Bryant, Mohamed Camara, David Johnson and Jonathan Walton, he's not deterred by the competition he'll face for playing time.
"I know they signed a few guys in my class, but there's no advantage, Moore said. "It's just whoever's going to be the best player is going to play and that's something I'm excited about."
Moore will join a Gamecock defense which ranked in the top 20 in rushing, scoring and total defense in the country with unanimous All-American Jadeveon Clowney at the helm. He will fill space in a defense that will miss its four leading tacklers in Shaq Wilson, D.J. Swearinger, Reginald Bowens and DeVonte Holloman - who accounted for a total of 281 tackles last season.
Moore said that being able to play on the big stage and being on a high-profile team were opportunities he could not pass up. USC's Outback Bowl win against Michigan was the icing on the cake.
"The (Outback Bowl) game really intrigued me," Moore said. "Just watching how the defense got after it and how tenacious they were, and that's something I want to be, a part of a defense with some dogs on it."