UCLA has produced a bunch of highly-rated safeties in the last few years. Dating back to Kenny Easley, they’ve also sent Eric Turner, Carnell Lake, Shaun Williams and Jarrad Page into the NFL.
Rahim Moore is about to become part of the legacy. Moore started the first game of his college career and never left the lineup, opening 37 consecutive games on the black line of the Bruins defense. Now, he’s coming into the NFL and figures to be the first true safety drafted. As he departed UCLA, Moore wrote a letter thanking many people in his life for their help in getting him to a spot in life where unlike many of the young men he grew up with, he’s got a future. He wrote about his UCLA experience:
“Wearing that blue and gold UCLA jersey with #3 on the back made me feel so reborn again – from every game running on the field in warm ups, jogging to the third yard line, praying to God giving him all the thanks, to playing “Dear Mama” by 2 Pac, crying my heart out just by thinking about my mother and all she went through, and after rejoicing on the field playing my favorite gospel song by Shekinah Glory Ministry called “Awesome & Mighty”. Those were my pre-game routines that I did each and every week for 37 consecutive weeks. UCLA fans, I love you from the bottom of my heart and I thank you for the prayers, the love and the passion you have for this school. I’m leaving to launch my career to another level I have always dreamed about, but I will never stop bleeding that beautiful “blue and gold”.
Here’s a link to the complete letter.
And here’s the rest of his story.
Rahim Shaheed Moore
Born β February 11, 1990 in Los Angeles.
Family β Parents are Rodney Moore and Nowana Buchanan. Dad was not a big factor in his life, as he was raised by his mother as a single parent with three children. Older brother Rasheed Kees was a talented high school football player and was being recruited heavily when he dropped out of school. He’s now 29 and serving jail time for an unknown transgression. Rahim has a younger sister Duraisha.
BODY OF WORK
- Height β 5-feet, 11ΒΎ inches.
- Weight β 202 pounds.
- Arm β 30ΒΌ inches.
- Hand β 9Β½ inches.
- 40-yard dash β 4.58 seconds.
- 20-yard dash β 2.60 seconds.
- 10-yard dash β 1.56 seconds.
- Bench press β 11 repetitions at 225 pounds.
- Vertical jump β 35-feet.
- Broad jump β 9-feet,Β 7 inches.
Moore was part of the graduating class of 2008 at Dorsey High School, part of the Los Angeles Unified School District in California. Dorsey has some 2,400 students from the southwest side of Los Angeles, particularly the Baldwin Hills and Crenshaw neighborhoods. Only Long Beach Poly has produced more NFL players than Dorsey.
Played three seasons for Coach Paul Knox and the Dons program, working at defensive back and receiver and Dorsey posted a 27-11 record.
Also lettered in track, running the 400 meters, he was a three-time league champ in the event and as a senior finished third in the CIF LA City section finals.
2007 β Moore had 112 tackles on the season with 5 interceptions, 10 PBU and 3 fumble recoveries. Offensively he contributed 15 catches for 339 yards and six TDs.
2006 β In his second season in the starting lineup, he had 122 tackles and 3 interceptions.
2005 β As a sophomore Moore had 99 tackles and 4 interceptions.
Rated a 5-star recruit by several recruiting services and was ranked as the No. 2 safety prospect in the country. Many schools showed an interest in him and he shrunk that group down to seven β UCLA, Arizona, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Texas. He visited UCLA, Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina, before committing to the Bruins.
Moore was enrolled in a Sociology degree path at UCLA.
He won second-team All-America honors as a sophomore and third-team honors as a junior from the Associated Press. Conference coaches made him an All-Pac 10 selection in ’09.
2010 β (Captain) He started all 12 games, he was third on the team in tackles with 77 stops. He had nine tackles and recovered a fumble against Arizona, plus nine tackles against California.
2009 β Started all 13 games at free safety and led the nation with 10 interceptions. That was the second highest interception total in UCLA history, behind only Carlton Gray’s 11 INTs in 1991. He had 3 interceptions in the season opener against San Diego State and wrapped it up with his 10th pick in a bowl victory over Temple. Moore was named the co-defensive winner of the Henry “Red” Sanders Award for MVP on the Bruins squad.
2008 β Started all 12 games at free safety and he was fourth on the team with 60 total tackles. He added 3 interceptions. He became the first true UCLA freshman to start a season opener since 2001. Against Oregon State he had 4 tackles, an interception and fumble recovery. He led the Bruins with eight tackles against Southern Cal.
|Β Year||Β G||Β S||Tot.
|Β TFL||Β Int.||Β PBU|
EVALUATION FOR PRO FOOTBALL
Strengths β A physically gifted young man with speed, quickness, agility and body control, Moore seems designed to play the safety position. It starts with his head, where he prepares aggressively with film study and has good instincts for the position and an understanding of what the offense is trying to do. He can close quickly from the back end of the defense and he tracks the ball well. He’s aggressive in his run support, although his tackling is spotty. Loaded with intangibles, he was voted a team captain in his junior year and he’s available, durable and prepared.
Weaknesses β Often he can be too aggressive and will overrun plays or get faked out, leaving a running lane open for the ball carrier. He isn’t hesitant to tackle, but too often takes on the ball carrier high and thus sometimes loses the man. Moore was not often asked to walk it down to the line of scrimmage and pick up a receiver in the slot. His coverage is better when he’s going forward, rather than backpedaling and turning β stiff hips slow him down on his turn.
Analysis β Already a student of the game with his extensive film study and the personal instruction he’s received from the likes of Kenny Easley and Baltimore’s Ed Reed, Moore’s transition to the NFL should be a bit easier than it will be for most rookies. There’s a big upside with this young man as he works on adding muscle and getting a step faster with an NFL strength and conditioning program.
WHAT THE SCOUTS SAY
An NFC defensive coordinator said β “I would take him right now, put up with some of his mistakes in the first half of the season that he’s going to make and by the end of the year I’d have a safety for the next decade. He’s got to get bigger and stronger, but he has everything else.”
WHAT HE SAID
On his decision to leave UCLA early β “I felt like it was time for me to move on. I’ve been dreaming about the NFL for 21 years. I saw an open door, and I had to walk through it.”
“If a team drafts me they won’t have to worry about the safety position for the next 10-12 years. I believe I’m special, and I mean that in the most humble way. I’m going to get in early. I’m going to leave late. I’m going to put in the same amount of hours, maybe more as the coaching staff.”
On if he expects to start in his rookie season β “Yes. During my whole life I’ve never sat down. Even my freshman year, I started 37 consecutive games. My main goal is to go in there and learn, then be able to succeed and make plays. Wherever I go, I hope to start every game and have a good career.”
“I used to tell my mom: ‘I don’t want to go to school. I want to go to football,’ I love the game so much. I would stay after practice playing catch or tackling guys. It’s all I wanted to do.”
WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT HIM
His mother Nowana Buchanan – “I am so proud of his accomplishments. Every kid should follow the path of their dream. Every kid should desire to be positive in life and have a goal. I’ve seen him grow and seen him go after his dream. And he didn’t get into any trouble. That is the most rewarding thing.”
DOES HE FIT WITH THE CHIEFS?
In so many ways he does fit with the Chiefs and the type of player and person that Pioli/Haley seeks. But they also have far bigger needs on their roster than to use another high choice on a safety. On paper, Moore would be an upgrade on Kendrick Lewis just in physical ability, but again when talking about holes in the roster safety is not one of them.