September 5, 2017
Sept. 5, 2017
By Brian Scott Rippee, OleMissSports.com
Last Saturday was a certainly a memorable one for Ole Miss safeties C.J. and A.J. Moore. The two twin brothers both started on defense and played a substantial amount of snaps together on the field at the same time.
“It is really fun to have my brother out there on the field with me,” A.J. said. “We have great chemistry together out there. My family likes it. It is pretty cool.”
A.J. has not had to be as patient as his brother. Success came a little more quickly for him as he was a contributor on defense for the last two years and has played in every game in his Ole Miss career. They both played on special teams as freshmen, but then went off on different paths from there.
C.J. missded of all of last season with a torn perctoral muscle, and was confined to the sideline to root on his brother and other teammates.
“It was tough,” C.J. recalled. “I was down for a bit. Then I realized I had to cheer those guys on so that was my role, cheering and rooting them on throughout the season.”
The two signed in the 2014 signing class out of Bassfield High School in Bassfield, Mississippi and had long imagined being on the field together at an SEC school. It has made for double the excitement for their parents Alvin and Monica Moore.
“Just last year, they were coming to the games to watch me because he was hurt,” A.J. said. “Now, both of us are out there.”
The two brothers certainly made the nearly four-hour trip from Bassfield to Oxford worth it for their parents. C.J led the team in tackles at free safety and A.J. recorded the Rebels’ lone sack playing the nickelback or “Star” position. The two feed off of each other.
“We both try to compete to see who can make the most plays. It is a nice deal,” A.J. said.
Together, they’ll try to shore up an Ole Miss secondary that struggled in 2016 and hopes to be an improved unit this season. The Jaguars threw for just 200 yards and averaged 6.6 yards per completed pass. They know there is plenty of room for improvement and both cited the Rebels need to tackle better, but it was certainly a strong start for both of them.
“I think for me it is watching film and learning what our opponent wants to do and trying to take away their best play,” A.J. said. “With me, learning what our opponent does, it helps me play much faster and make plays.”
C.J. offered a similar sentiment.
Their production against South Alabama certainly hinted they’ll play a pivotal role for their team this season.
In the end, it is what they’ve always dreamed of.
“Ever since high school it was a dream,” C.J. said. “Now, it is a dream come true to be out there starting for the Ole Miss Rebels and we made it come true.”