Georgia gave plenty of attention to IMG Academy, a powerhouse football program out of Bradenton, Florida, and welcomed an estimated 70 prospects to campus recently. There is interest in plenty of the prep academy’s athletes, but the Bulldogs decided to single out one of the highly regarded targets.
Joshua Moore has been on Georgia’s radar since he received an offer in October. He had been in contact with head coach Kirby Smart and wide receivers coach James Coley for nearly a year, but it was only the second visit to campus for the Texas native. The coaching staff wanted to be sure to reiterate their interest in the four-star.
“I loved everything about it when I went up there,” Moore said. “Coach Coley and Coach Smart brought me into their office for about an hour and that meant a lot. We spent about an hour and the conversation was great.”
Moore is one of the top wide receivers for the 2018 class and has received a heap of attention from programs nationwide — holding 58 offers. After his trip to Athens, he narrowed his list to 10, which included the Bulldogs and many other SEC foes. The list includes Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M and Tennessee.
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Georgia’s communication with Moore has been amplified after his move to IMG Academy. There is a good rapport between the two programs as the Bulldogs has landed a prospect in both signing classes under Smart.
The lengthy one-on-one visit between Moore and Smart offered reaffirmation that Georgia should make one of the final cuts.
“Coach Smart made sure to tell me that he wants me and to get on board immediately,” Moore said. “We ended up talking more about life and adversity than football itself, which meant a lot to me.
“One thing I really took away from it was what he told me about sacrifices. By coming up to IMG, I had to sacrifice a lot such as being with my friends and family (in Yoakum). He told me that he was proud of me for taking that next step to become a better person, and doing what I have to do to make my dream a reality.”
Moore is the latest target who is originally from Texas, an area that the Bulldogs haven’t been known to actively pursue. The Lone Star State is known as one of the nation’s best destinations for high school talent, and the Bulldogs would welcome a top-tier receiver to the fold.
In his junior campaign with the San Antonio-area program, Moore collected 516 receiving yards and eight touchdowns and led his team to a state championship appearance. Moore was also awarded an invitation to the final rounds of “The Opening” — a skills showcase sponsored by Nike near its Oregon headquarters.
Georgia is looking to grow its 2018 class, which only stands at two commitments after offensive tackle Max Wray opted to de-commit from the program on March 10. Could Moore see himself joining the group after taking in the sights of Sanford Stadium?
“No doubt about it,” Moore said.