Connect with us

Alabama Football Impact Players

Justin Smith: Not surprised with Malachi Moore’s strong play as a true freshman

Malachi Moore catches an interception
Photo by Crimson Tide Athletics

As the 2020 season is still in its infant stages, the Alabama Crimson Tide has essentially picked up where it left off seemingly without missing a beat. While emergence of fresh faces such as second-year player, John Metchie and Senior, Daniel Wright may have come as a bit of a surprise — the play of true freshman, Malachi Moore has not — at least to Recruiting Analyst, Justin Smith.

When asked during a segment of “In My Own Words” whether he was shocked at Moore’s play, Smith answered by stating, “I wouldn’t say I am shocked, he’s a kid that works hard, he works hard to get what he wants,” said Smith. “When I first got a chance to see Malachi Moore early on in his high school career, it was very evident he was very physical, not afraid to tackle guys, he really embraced making big hits.”

So far this season, Moore has compiled 9 tackles, one for loss, one interception, and two pass breakups. Cracking the starting lineup in a Nick Saban defense is no easy task, unless he trusts the individual fully understands their assignment, which Moore clearly demonstrated during fall camp.

“When I got an opportunity to see him during his senior season is when I felt he made that big jump to possibly make an immediate impact at the next level. He played cornerback up until that season and made the transformation from cornerback to safety to be more involved in that Hewitt-Trussville defense. And when I saw him in that first game against Ga’Quincy McKinstry and Pinson-Valley, Malachi looked very confident as a safety — he was telling guys where to go and you could really see his high IQ shine at safety.

Related: Malachi Moore earns Freshman SEC of the Week honors

The IQ was certainly on display Saturday as Moore was tested throughout the contest against the Texas A&M Aggies and consistently made plays, including the game-clinching interception in the endzone. Moore parlayed that into becoming a Freshman SEC Player of the Week selection. According to Smith though, this is to be expected due to the level of competition Moore played in high school.

“He is battled tested,” said Smith. “He has gone up against some of the best wide receiver talent in the country at the high school [football] level. He played in one of the toughest high school football regions in the country, when you look at that 7A Region 3 classification. He went up against George Pickens, who is currently a starter at Georgia as well as Jadon Haselwood, who is one of the starting wide receivers for Oklahoma at the moment.”

Alabama fans are hoping Moore’s ascent will continue as it looks to not only get back to the College Football Playoff, but a national championship as well.

*Get the BEST Alabama football insider information, message board access, and recruiting coverage today! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our subscriber only content!*

More in Alabama Football Impact Players