Jan. 7, 2011
UCLA junior All-America safety Rahim Moore will forego his final season of collegiate eligibility and apply for the 2011 NFL Draft.
"Rahim has been a starter since the day he arrived at UCLA," said head coach Rick Neuheisel. "He has been a key performer in our secondary throughout his career and he never missed a start. It was a thrill to watch him lead the nation with 10 interceptions in 2009. We certainly thank him for all of his contributions to the program and support his decision to take the next step in his career."
Moore earned first-team All-America honors from Sporting News and third-team acclaim from AP in 2010. Moore was one of 10 Thorpe Award semifinalists and a Phil Steele Mid-Season All-American and was named to the Nagurski Trophy, Lott Trophy, Bednarik Award and Thorpe Award pre-season watch lists after an honor-filled `09 season. In 2010, he was one of just three All-Pac-10 first-team performers to repeat from 2009.
Moore, who started all 12 games, was third on the squad with 77 tackles and 17th (tied) in the Pac-10 (6.42 average). His 14 career interceptions rank No. 4 (tied) on the all-time UCLA list.
Moore started all 13 games in 2009 and was selected first-team All-America by Scout.com and second-team by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, AP, Rivals.com and Si.com. He was named first-team All-Pac-10 by the league's coaches. Sporting News selected him the Pac-10 Defensive MVP.
Moore led the nation with 10 interceptions (0.77 avg.) in 2009, No. 2 on UCLA's single-season list. He ranked second (tied) in the NCAA and first in the Pac-10 in passes defensed (1.3). The last Bruin to make more interceptions was Carlton Gray, who set the school record, with 11, in 1991. No player in the Football Bowl Subdivision had made 10 interceptions in a season since 2003. He was a high honorable mention for the 2009 Thorpe Award.
STATEMENT FROM RAHIM MOORE
First, I would like to give thanks to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for blessing me with this opportunity at UCLA. If it wasn't for him, there would be no Rahim Moore. I'm blessed and fortunate to be able to attend a school like UCLA and this is a journey that I will never forget.
I want to thank my mother - my angel - my "grand prize" for the being the great mother she is, for always giving me the guidance throughout my whole life to make me the man I am today. I would like to thank all my coaches, from Pop Warner football all the way through college; starting with Coach Doug Williams, who gave me the confidence to be able to play this game. Coach Knox, my high school head coach, was phenomenal. Coach Carver shared his knowledge and wisdom to make me the defensive back that I am today, not only just football but a father off the field. I would like to thank Coach Caldwell and Coach Tracy for disciplining me at a young age and always pushing me to strive for excellence.
I would like to thank Coach Karl Dorrell for giving me my first offer in college - that is one day I will always remember. I want to thank Coach (DeWayne) Walker for playing that father figure role to me when I first arrived at UCLA. I will never forget the words you would tell me every day before and after practice - that "every day is an interview, on and off the field," meaning no matter where you go people are watching and observing everything you do, so always conduct yourself in a great manner.
I want to thank Coach Rick Neuheisel for everything, and I really mean everything as far as being a great coach, a father to us players and a man who loves to take care of his team. I love you coach and I appreciate the journey we had for three years. I will never forget the days you would try to sing songs before every practice to Akeem and I thinking you had some flavor (lol).
I want to thank Coach Linn, Coach Sowers and Coach Weisenbarger for being the great men/athletic performance coaches they are. Coach Linn gave me the confidence by pushing me each and every day and putting 25 pounds of muscle on my frame from my freshman year until now.
I want to thank Coach Hundley for always getting me to my highest level of play. He was the coach that would always encourage me when I would have a bad practice, or a bad game. I love you Coach, with all my heart, and once again I thank you. When we first met I told you that I wanted to be the best safety you ever coached and you made my day when you told me before a game that I was the best safety you ever coached. Coach Jones, you are the best corner coach in the business, in my opinion. I want to thank you for everything and helping me with my technique and getting all of us defensive backs better. Even though we've known each other for only a year, it feels longer than that and I have much love for you.
I want to thank my uncle Jermaine and my uncle George for the love they shared with me growing up, and constantly preaching to me on what I needed to work on in all aspects of life. I want to thank Al Hester (Aaron Hester's dad) for being a father to me and my best friend Aaron Hester. My God Fathers Sadite, D. Witch and Keith Miller, I thank you men for the knowledge and wisdom you all have given me throughout my life and this whole process. Coach D. Davis, it was a blessing from God having you in my life and teaching me things about defensive backs and taking my game to a level I could never imagine. My trainer Carruth is a special person in my life for whom I thank God.
I want to thank my mentor James Washington for taking the time with me, explaining the experiences of his career and wanting me to be better. I love you James and I thank you for everything. Thank you for helping me understand film and recognizing offenses better. Kenny Easley, I want to thank you for changing the way I look at the game of football, for giving the competitive mindset to always be the first and last person off the field and always knowing what everybody on the defense is doing at all times. I want to thank Ed Reed for the love, guidance, knowledge and wisdom you have shared. Because you are my favorite athlete of all time, it was a pleasure having you as a mentor. I will never forget our first conversation - I almost cried because you have that much of an impact on my life, as well as others around the world. God bless you!
To my best friend, my brother, my future best man in my wedding - Aaron Hester. I want to thank you for everything you have done for me. I remember those days in Pop Warner we shared playing against each other our whole childhood to these precious moments here at UCLA. I love you man, from the bottom of my heart and I'm proud of you. I trust you so much that if I ever left this earth and my kids needed someone like their father to take care of them, I know you would take care of them just like their father would.
My Dorsey Don pride soldier Johnathan "Jetski" Franklin, we've been through so much together and seen a lot from where we came from and I am so proud of you. God really has a special covenant over you and he is going to take you to higher places in life than you could ever imagine. Datone Jones, you have definitely been a friend to me more that anyone would appreciate, so I wanted to tell you that I really love you as well. I will never forget the exact day we first arrived at UCLA, we were so excited to play college football. Our first college game was versus Tennessee. After we watched the film we realized how small we were and how big those guys were and we immediately started doing pushups and ended up doing so many that we finally had to stop. Those types of memories I will never forget. God bless you.
Andrew Abbott, you have been a blessing to me and thank God for you as well. We had so much fun on and off the field along with times we stayed in the film room until almost midnight watching our opponents. I will never forget that time we were both on the Jumbotron together versus Cal last year and we were the most excited people in the world and that was our highlight of the year. Courtney Viney, you have been a big brother to me throughout my whole career at UCLA. I remember when I called you and Brian Price to workout me out in high school, and you guys shared that Bruin love with me. Tony Dye, my other brother from another mother, a lot of people don't give you the credit you deserve, so I am going to do it myself. You helped me out so much throughout our years of playing safety together, from the great communication we had on and off the field to helping each other get better in all phases of our game. We constantly pushed each other to the limit.
Sheldon Price, my little brother, I love you as well, man. Sitting next to each other in the locker room, we had the most fun and enjoyment any college player could have. I hope I did all I could to set an example for you to be able to lead UCLA next year and have your best season in college football. I will miss those days where we would laugh in the locker room and would rap our favorite songs every morning.
Dietrich Riley, you're our future as of the best safeties to ever come out of UCLA. You could be the "Sean Taylor" of college, if you believe. You have all the tools it takes to be one of the best to ever come out of here. I hope I have done a great job on practicing hard every day and showing you the pathway of what it takes to be in my situation one day. I love you and I know you look up to me, and those times we would communicate on the field, I was just as proud of seeing you lineup with me and making those bone crushing hits. I would smile sometimes seeing you out there because I knew you had what it takes to be an outstanding defensive back. I remember saying during the pre-game versus USC that I am passing the torch for you for you to be better than me and learn from all my mistakes to make you a better player, along with Tevin McDonald being the next Brandon Meriweather of college football when his time comes. So to all my "Killer Beez," I will definitely miss you guys and I love you all with all my heart. For the rest of my Bruin family, I appreciate the experiences we all went through and I love each and every one of you.
So as I conclude this farewell, I want to say as I leave that I hope all the UCLA fans will remember me - not only as a player but as someone who truly cherished his time being a student-athlete, my work ethic and how I gave all my love and affection towards football. Each and every day, I touched the hands of Kenny Easley's picture frame in our facility to remind myself what I came here for, and to chase my dreams each and every day. Before every game I always told myself "Heemy, go out there and play your heart out so when it's all said and done, I will be mentioned as the best safety or one of the best to ever come out of UCLA."
As I wrote this whole release, I couldn't stop crying because UCLA and the players mean that much to me. If someone had told me before I came to UCLA that I would end up being a two-time All-American, I would probably have fallen over. So as I look back on those days when I was eight and nine years old, playing for the Baldwin Hills Bruins and playing in the halftime show at the Rose Bowl was truly a blessing from God, and to be able to be on the same field years later is amazing. One man came up to me after I played the halftime game and said I would be a Bruin one day, but at that time I was a big Miami Hurricanes and Michigan fan. So as years passed I ended up being a UCLA Bruin, wearing the exact number that I wore in that halftime game for the Baldwin Hills Bruins.
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".
God bless you all! Go Bruins.
#3 Rahim Shaheed Moore