Getting to know Tennessee's class of 2007: No. 14, WR Darnius Moore

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Introducing No. 14 in Tennessee’s class of 2007, Darnius Moore.

 

Not this guy.

You know that brainteaser where you’re supposed to identify as quickly as you can the color of a word instead of reading the word, which is a different color? Wow, that’s a lot more difficult to describe than I thought it would be. How about an example:

Brown. Yellow. Red. Blue. Purple. Orange.

Try it. Weird. Well, we have a similar problem with No. 17 in this year's class. Although his name is spelled D-A-R-N-I-U-S, it’s actually pronounced "Danarius." So say it with me: Da-nar-i-us. Da-nar-i-us. Da-nar-i-us. I propose that for the next four years all Vol fans shout "DA-NAR-I-US" loudly at the television every time an announcer incorrectly says "Darn-i-us." Because you know it’s going to happen.

Anyway, that’s the first thing you need to know about Darnius. The second thing is that he is going to continue to vex reporters for the next four years. While there seems to be many more articles on Moore than any other recruit I’ve researched so far, they all pretty much had the same information. One reporter got so frustrated with having to write the same article for the umpteenth time that his report consisted almost entirely of the following interview:

Frustrated Reporter: So is there anything new?
DA-NAR-I-US: No sir.
Frustrated Reporter: Any closer to a decision?
DA-NAR-I-US: Not really.
Frustrated Reporter: Are the same three schools still involved?
DA-NAR-I-US: Yes sir, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
Frustrated Reporter: Anybody else or any other visits you took this weekend or will take next weekend?
DA-NAR-I-US: No sir.
Frustrated Reporter: Any idea when we should contact you next?
DA-NAR-I-US: I don't know.
Frustrated Reporter: Is there a chance you wait until signing day?
DA-NAR-I-US: No, I think it will be before that. You can call me later this week.

Remind you of anybody? Maybe somebody whose most flamboyant characteristic is an affinity for mashed potatoes? Maybe the basketball Vols’ very own SEC Player of the Year? Yeah, him. You like DA-NAR-I-US already, don’t you? And I haven’t even talked about what he brings to the football field.

Numbers, honors, and stuff

As a junior in 2005, Moore had 27 catches for 423 yards and eight touchdowns as a wide receiver and 22 rushes for 287 yards and two more touchdowns on the ground. He also had at least 10 50-yard-plus punt returns and returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the title game, which his team won. As a senior, he caught 32 passes for 501 yards and rushed 27 times for over 200 yards.

And he's versatile. Moore started both years at both wide receiver and cornerback. He finished his senior year with 53 tackles and five interceptions from the cornerback position, and his team won the state title for the second year in a row, this time with a 15-0 record.

Moore was all-district as both a junior and a senior, he made all-state as a kick returner in his junior year, and he was named to the second-team of the Reebock Super Team as a defensive back. A track star as well, Moore was the state champ in the 110 meter hurdles in 2006, breaking the class 2A record with a 13.69 time. He accounted for 31 of his high school’s 64 points when the team won the state title.

Despite all of this, Moore was a bit overshadowed by his teammate, highly recruited running back Lennon Creer. Rivals gives Moore only three stars but says that he is the nation’s 34th-best athlete. According to Scout, Moore is a four-star guy and the No. 52 wide receiver prospect in the nation.

The Recruiting . . . postcard

In keeping with his quiet demeanor, Moore’s recruiting saga is more of a short story. A postcard, really. An IM. An . . . well, you get the idea.

Moore took an unofficial visit to Rocky Top in the summer of 2006 with teammate and co-recruit Lennon Creer. Word is that Moore committed to Tennessee on Christmas night as UT coaches were flying to Tampa for the Outback Bowl but told the media right after that that he was still undecided. It was apparently either a ruse to build suspense or an attempt to wait for his friend Creer to decide so that they could announce together, which, by the way, they did just prior to signing day. That's it. The entire recruiting story would fit on a postcard. Wish you were here!

Anyway, Moore cited an affection for Tennessee’s coaches and players, UT’s excellent track program, and the opportunity for early playing time as reasons for his commitment to the Vols (or at least the characteristics of the school he was looking for). In all, Moore turned down 12 offers, including Florida, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Arkansas, TCU, Nebraska, TCU, and Houston.

Moore is a very fast, athletic player with great quickness to boot. He’s a team player who’s not overly concerned about stats, as evidenced by his thriving co-existence with Creer. Tennessee has recruited him to play wide receiver, his preference, by the way, and Moore plans to participate in both football and track.

Rocky Top Talk Mnemonic

It’s DE-NAR-I-US
Expect zero bulletin
Board material

Darnius Moore, welcome to Tennessee!

 

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