Texas football keeps on rolling in the NCAA Transfer Portal early this week, as head coach Steve Sarkisian and staff picked up their third transfer commitment on Dec. 19. Former UTSA Roadrunners redshirt sophomore edge rusher and the 2023 AAC Defensive Player of the Year Trey Moore committed to Texas via the transfer portal on Dec. 19.
The other two portal commits the Longhorns have landed are the former Clemson Tigers junior safety Andrew Mukuba and former Houston Cougars sophomore wide receiver Matthew Golden. Mukuba committed to Texas on Dec. 18. Golden was the first portal commit the Longhorns landed, coming on Dec. 16.
Moore picked Texas over pursuits from the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Alabama Crimson Tide. He visited Texas and Alabama in the last couple of weeks before committing to the Longhorns on Dec. 19. Ohio State and defensive line coach Larry Johnson also made a push at one point in Moore's portal recruitment.
Moore was the first portal visitor the Longhorns hosted during the December window. He made the short trip from San Antonio to Austin a couple of weekends ago.
Going to Texas was the first choice for Moore since he entered the portal a few weeks ago, per Horns247. Austin is a short way from home for the San Antonio native Moore. He played high school football not too far from the 40 at Spring Branch (TX) Smithson Valley.
Texas adds an extremely productive edge rusher with proven pass-rushing skills
Moore was a tremendously productive and versatile EDGE player/outside linebacker at UTSA. The 6-foot-3 and 250-pound Moore led the American Athletic Conference in sacks (14.0) and tackles for loss (18) this season while raking in AAC Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Possessing good speed and strength, Moore is a high-level athlete along the defensive front. He has excellent closing speed as a pass rusher and pursuing the ball carrier in space. Moore also changes directions quickly, allowing him to effectively find the ball carrier through traffic and bring them to the ground.
In run defense, Moore is effective while setting the edge and chasing down the ball carrier in space. He's fundamentally sound and strong enough to get himself in position to set the edge in run defense. Moore doesn't have an issue matching up against offensive tackles or bigger and more aggressive tight ends on the edge in run defense.
Moore's biggest strength is his ability to get after opposing quarterbacks. He's got good natural bend and flexibility coming off the edge and a nice arsenal of pass-rushing moves. Moore has a good spin move and can bull rush opposing blockers into the backfield.
He's too quick for many bigger offensive tackles to contain off the edge in pass pro. And he's too strong and flexible for many tight ends to block in one-on-one matchups in the pass rush.
Something that isn't talked about enough regarding Moore's game is his non-stop effort. He's got a motor that doesn't stop, which leads to him being one of the most consistent outside backers/edge rushers in the Group of Five in the last two seasons. Moore is often seen running down the ball carrier downfield and making effort sacks.
Talking about consistency, Moore was the only Group of Five outside backer/edge rusher to register at least eight sacks and 30 quarterback pressures in each of the last two seasons.
Moore is a quality cover linebacker
Another often underrated part of Moore's skill set is his ability to drop back in pass coverage. He's got the instincts, ranginess, and ball skills necessary to hold his own against tight ends and running backs out in the flats and around the line of scrimmage in the short passing game.
Moore made some nice plays on the football while in pass coverage this season at UTSA. He was UTSA's only linebacker and/or edge rusher who registered an interception and multiple pass breakups without allowing a single touchdown pass in coverage.
Areas of improvement
As a pass rusher, Moore can get bullied when he faces bigger offensive linemen or goes up against double-teams. At 250 pounds, Moore isn't the biggest edge rusher. In the SEC, he'll ocassionally give up 100+ pounds against the bigger starting offensive tackles on opposing teams.
Moore has struggled more against some of the bigger offensive tackles he's matched up against on Power Five teams in the last two seasons at UTSA. He's hovered around a pressure rate of 17.5 percent and a 14.5 pass rush win percentage in the last two seasons. But he's only registered one sack and three quarterback pressures in over 50 pass rush snaps against P5 competition since 2022.
This isn't something I'm too worried about for the long-term, as Moore will benefit greatly from getting in a P5 strength and conditioning program at Texas while being able to expand his skill set as a pass rusher in Pete Kwiatkowski's 2-4-5 defensive scheme.
The fact of the matter is that if Texas, Alabama, and Ohio State are all interested in you as a portal recruit, you're one of the top transfers on the market at the EDGE position.
Projection and fit at Texas
Moore is an upgrade to an already deep EDGE position room for the Longhorns. Texas has loaded up with EDGE talent from this 2024 signing class via high school recruiting and the portal. Texas returns two starters at EDGE in junior Barryn Sorrell and sophomore Ethan Burke.
Texas also added an instant impact edge rusher in the 2024 class in the elite Duncanville five-star Colin Simmons.
Moore is a natural fit at the buck position in PK’s defensive front. He can play naturally in the six and seven technique off the EDGE. He’ll not only add punch to the Texas pass rush, but he’ll also contribute in run defense.