Moore better, but still competes
Published: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 9:22 p.m.
In Florida's two open practices last month, Tyler Moore stood out for all the wrong reasons.
Buck defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. dominated him on both days and Moore appeared out of shape, which was expected for an offensive lineman who hadn't played football in almost a year.
But with 15 practices now under his belt, the Nebraska transfer no longer feels the physical toll from the time he missed.
“My body is feeling okay,” Moore said after Florida's Orange & Blue Debut. “I've been trying to take care of it as much as I could, keeping my legs underneath me by doing certain things. The year off didn't hurt too much, it kind of helped my body recover a little bit after that long fall (in 2011).”
That long fall was when he played nine games at Nebraska and started four at right tackle, becoming the 10th lineman in school history to start as a true freshman.
Moore is slated to start at the same spot for the Gators this coming season, and the 6-foot-3, 312-pound redshirt sophomore credited UF strength coach Jeff Dillman for getting him ready.
“He does certain things in the workouts that will specifically help you and your body,” Moore explained. “I'm really working on explosive things every day. I've gotten a lot stronger just since I've been here for a couple months.”
Facing Florida's defensive linemen, especially Fowler, throughout the spring also helped prepare Moore for the SEC pass rush, which will be a difficult challenge compared to the battles he had in the Big Ten.
“There's a lot more talent in the SEC,” he said. “The defensive line is a lot better.”
Although Moore has been groomed and conditioned for conference play, he won't be handed the job in the fall. He'll have to compete with redshirt junior Chaz Green, who started 10 games at right tackle last season and is scheduled to return from offseason ankle surgery.
But Moore's main focus this summer is staying in shape and improving his game.
“I need to work on my hands a little more, get them inside better. Footwork is also a thing after just lifting and playing a little basketball or running here and there,” Moore said. “Not really doing any drills after a while and taking a full six months off not doing anything didn't help. ... So it's not just about beating someone out, it's about being ready for the season.”