When the Georgetown football team takes the field tomorrow against Bucknell, fans will not have to wait long to witness the electric playmaking ability of sophomore Jeremy Moore. After a freshman season in which both injury and inexperience limited his playing time, the New Haven, Conn., native is enjoying a breakout sophomore year.
Not only does the speedy sophomore lead the league in kickoff return average at 30.1 yards per attempt, but he also leads the Georgetown defense in tackles with 32 solo takedowns. Defensive backs rarely lead the team in tackles, and that goes to show Moore’s exceptional ability.
Luckily for the Georgetown community, Moore made an important decision at the end of his junior year in high school that has paid dividends on the Hilltop. After leading the state of Connecticut by averaging 32 points per game as a freshman at James Hillhouse High, Moore was convinced that his future was as a professional basketball player. However, as he got older, he remained 5-feet-10 inches tall and concluded during his junior year that he may have to look into alternative possibilities. Along came football.
“I did not play high school football until my junior year, since I thought I would play basketball in college,” Moore said. “Even though I was a McDonald’s All-American nominee in basketball my senior year, I did not receive too many offers, and I was marketed as a football player. When deciding a college, I took into account the possibility of playing two sports at a high level and by far Georgetown was my best option.”
Yes, he said two sports. Hoya fans may soon be able to enjoy Moore’s athletic ability year-round.
“After my [football] season I will look into the possibility of fulfilling my childhood dream,” Moore said. “Yes, after the season, I will look into walking-on to the basketball team.”
Whether he makes the basketball team or not, it will not take away from his accomplishments on the gridiron. Moore brings an exciting mix of energy and speed that has many fans enthusiastic about his future.
“I take great pride in trying to be the best player on the field at any given time,” the extremely competitive Moore said. “I aspire to be recognized as a lockdown corner, and it is imperative that I [make plays]. There is no 98 percent effort – anything less than 120 percent and the coach will sit me on the sideline.”
That attitude has led Moore to league-best statistics in both passes defended and tackles for loss, with seven of each. After last season, in which a shoulder injury from high school limited Moore to just four games, the Georgetown defense has received a huge boost from his presence in the lineup. After giving up 28.1 points per game last season, the 2010 Hoyas have limited their opponents to 22.8 points per game. Having Moore play a more significant role on the defense is certainly one of the major reasons for this improvement. Despite being one of the youngest starters on defense, playing a leading role on the team does not phase him.
“Going into the offseason, I knew that the two corners in front of me were seniors and would be leaving, and the other starter [junior Jayah Kaisamba] was coming back so I would have to fill the other available slot,” he said. “I worked so hard in the offseason that I knew I was going to be a productive player for this team. It was time for me to fit the mold of what the coaches wanted me to do and what the team needed me to do. It feels great to be able to play on this team point-blank, period. And having a bigger role amplifies that honor.”
When watching the Blue and Gray on defense, it’s hard not to notice Moore. The No. 32 jersey is always playing with great energy and has a unique ability to always be around the ball.
“Everything I do is high intensity,” Moore said. “It is said that I am the energy spark on this team, and I embrace that role. Any team playing with energy swarms to the ball, and that is how you become a better defense. You play the game to have fun, and making plays makes it fun for me.”
Despite his penchant for making big plays on defense, Moore has a greater game-changing ability as a returner. When the team needs a shift in momentum after giving up a score, they rely on Moore to get them good field position on the kickoff. In a game against Yale earlier this season, the Hoyas trailed 27-14 at halftime; Moore returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown and provided the momentum that sparked a Georgetown comeback, which only fell short after a last-second Yale touchdown.
“My best attribute on the field is the ability to change the momentum of the game,” he said. “The ability to deflate the other team with a long return, which sets up our offense with a short field, is backbreaking.”