Joshua Moore lives on a ranch halfway between San Antonio and Houston, and one afternoon roughly two years ago, after he’d finished fishing with his dad on the property, he got a Twitter direct message from Nebraska receivers coach Keith Williams.
Fishing and Twitter. That’s how recruiting is these days, and the relationship Williams started with Moore turned into a daily conversation, eventually paying off in a major commit for the Huskers’ 2018 recruiting class. Moore, a consensus four-star and top-100 national prospect, picked Nebraska over Florida State and Texas A&M, the school to which his older-by-minutes twin brother, Jordan, is committed.
Joshua announced his decision to come to NU on June 18 in honor of an older brother, Quintin Moore, who died on that day four years earlier. Quintin played a prominent part in Joshua’s commitment video, broadcast on Twitter.
However, Moore reopened his recruitment Dec. 10.
Jeremiah 29:11......... pic.twitter.com/q8SiKvQ1CX— KING (@_TheJoshuaMoore) December 10, 2017
Wherever Joshua committed, he said in a recent interview with The World-Herald, he was going to honor his older brother with the decision. Joshua looked at every angle of his choice. Academics. Football development. Personal development — the school that “will develop me as a man,” Moore said. And relationships. Moore, big on finding the right fit, wanted a strong relationship with his position coach.
In Williams, he had that.
“He loves football,” the 6-foot-1, 170-pound Moore said of Williams. “He has a passion for it that matches my passion. He doesn’t just throw offers out. He takes his time and gets to know you.”
The two got to know each other even better during a nearly weeklong spring trip Moore took to NU’s campus. At the time, Moore was attending IMG Academy, the sports-focused boarding school in Bradenton, Florida, and he made the trip to Nebraska with another Husker commit — and the then-ringleader of the 2018 recruiting class — cornerback Brendan “Bookie” Radley-Hiles. Moore said he was impressed by Nebraska’s facilities, academic programs and fans at the spring game.
“The thing I loved most about it was the love and the atmosphere,” Moore said. “I’ve never been to a spring game like that. That was big to me. It shows how much they love football over there. It opened my eyes.”
The friendship Moore and Radley-Hiles formed during training made an impact on Moore’s decision-making.
“I’ve never faced a corner as good as Bookie,” Moore said. “He’s a perfectionist. He loves it. His technique skills are crazy.”
Moore didn't play his senior year for IMG. He chose to transfer back to Yoakum, a small school in south-central Texas, and play one more high school season with Jordan, a four-star safety. Quintin played for Yoakum, too, as a lineman.
Quintin was a role model for both of the twin brothers — then and now, Joshua said. He committed suicide in a backyard barn in Hallettsville, Texas. He was 20 years old. That day, Joshua said, a grandmother pulled her car into the twins’ driveway and called them into their house.
It took her a long time to get the news out. The twins were 13 at the time.
“I’d talked to Quintin two days before — Father’s Day — and we were at my dad’s house, barbecuing and hanging out,” Joshua said. “And then two days later he took his own life. I think about him every single day. He was my role model — to this day. Always had a smile on his face. Always cared for others. Great guy overall. Nobody knows why he did it. He didn’t leave a note. Nobody knows why.”
Joshua said he’s equally close to Jordan — while Joshua was at IMG, Jordan stayed at Yoakum and the two talked several times each day. Although Jordan is slightly older, Joshua joked he’s a little more mature, and more outgoing, since Jordan is a “homebody.” Yoakum, a town of 6,000, is “pretty boring,” Joshua said.
With the Moore twins, the football team was exciting. Yoakum reached the Class 3A Division I state title — their first such appearance since 1952. Joshua wore No. 1, Jordan No. 2. Joshua had 323 yards rushing — at 9.2 yards per carry — and averaged 20.6 yards per catch on his way to 516 receiving yards. Those numbers don’t necessarily underline Moore’s overall potential. ESPN has Moore as the No. 31 player in the nation.
“What stands out about Moore are his ball skills,” said ESPN analyst and national recruiting director Tom Luginbill. “He has a penchant for making difficult grabs look easy. His speed and ability to make adjustments on the ball vertically make him a dangerous play maker.”
For Moore to “maximize” his potential, Luginbill said, he’ll have to put on weight. Moore shows quite a bit of physicality in highlight videos, including those as a blocker. He projects to an outside receiver, although Moore plays slot for Yoakum, as well.
Moore isn't finished with the recruiting process, though. He took an official visit to Alabama on the weekend of Oct. 21, but returned to Lincoln on an unofficial visit for the Northwestern game Nov. 4. Moore took his Nebraska official visit for the Wisconsin game Oct. 7.
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