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David Moore battles for Tigers’ starting QB role

The last two University of Memphis quarterbacks are on NFL rosters. A stiff competition to identify the next man up is underway and David Moore, a red-shirt sophomore, is fighting to make his mark.

The Tigers are hungry for another American Athletic Western Conference Championship title. They will have to do that without last year’s rifle-arm quarterback, Riley Ferguson.

Moore, a 6-3, 200-pounder from Alpharetta, Ga. is a dual threat quarterback who came out of high school rated No. 24 at his position. He has appeared in five games with the Tigers, mostly with outcome already decided. He’s 7 of 10 passing, with 63 yards and one touchdown. His most extensive action came in the 70-31 blowout over Connecticut last season.  

A very accurate short-yard passer with the ability to drop the football in deep, Moore can confound defensive schemes with his speed to get past the line of scrimmage and his talent for scrambling. His most direct competition is Brady White, a redshirt sophomore from Arizona State.

Coming off of spring practice, Moore had some summer goals.

“First, I wanted to be healthy.  Secondly, I wanted to regain my explosiveness. I feel like my talent is there. I wanted to throw the ball more accurately with a strong arm. But it is the mental part of the game with the protections and the ins and outs of the offense, that was the biggest part of the offseason focus for me.”

Head Coach Mike Norvell has “demanded excellence from me” from day one, Moore said.

“That is one of the reasons I chose Memphis. I knew he would show me some tough love and I would grow up a lot. … Everyday he has helped me to mature and helped me to be accountable. In the beginning it was hard for me, because I was not there mentally to just listen to what he was trying to coach me instead of listening to the tone. But now I just hear the message.”

While his on-the-field play with the Tigers mostly has come during “garbage time,” Moore values the experience.

“The next time I step onto the field will not be the first time I go on the field. No pressure is greater than the pressure coach Norvell puts on me and Brady White every single day.”

“Whether I play or not, he (Norvell) gave me a sense of accountability as a man.” Moore said.

Norvell is unlikely to name a starting quarterback until the week leading up to the season opener at home against Mercer on September 1 at 6 p.m. at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium

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