The UF football team's practice squad just got a lot better.
Former USC running back Emmanuel Moody announced Monday that he will transfer to UF, a decision that almost instantly solidifies the Gators' ground attack for next year.
Due to NCAA transfer rules, the sophomore will have to sit out this season.
"From the campus down to the coaches, I just really felt that Florida was a good fit for me," Moody said.
Moody made his choice on Saturday after visiting North Carolina and UF, and he canceled trips to Oklahoma State and Texas after coming to Gainesville.
Moody didn't have long to pick a new home after filing a transfer request on Aug. 15, and his time to visit schools was limited since classes at most of his choices began the next week.
"Time was definitely a factor, but I just knew Florida was a perfect fit," he said. "I enrolled already, and I'll be there on Wednesday.
"Everything is all set up. Now I just have to go through the NCAA Clearinghouse."
A native of Coppell, Texas, Moody was rated the No. 11 running back out of high school by Scout.com, and he signed with the Trojans after making a verbal commitment to Texas.
As a freshman at USC, Moody rushed for 459 yards on 79 attempts in nine games before an ankle injury sidelined him for the last four contests.
His performance was good enough for The Sporting News to name him Pac-10 Offensive Freshman of the Year, and he was also featured on a regional cover of Sports Illustrated's college football preview along with two other Trojans backs.
After a hamstring injury in spring practice, Moody fell into a 10-player competition for field time, and he told the Los Angeles Times that he felt "forgotten."
Now, he will have to watch a season unfold from the sidelines and will function only in practice.
"It'll build my mind up," he said. "Sitting out a year, everyone sees it as 'Oh man, you're not playing football this year,' and there's a lot of negative energy towards that. I feel like there are a lot of positives in this. A few of them are that I can really just sit back and be a spectator, really just get the feel of everything and also learn the offense."
After his trip to Gainesville last Thursday, Moody summed up the area with one word: country. But he says he didn't mean it as a bad thing.
"When I say country I mean that it reminds me of home. Texas is considered country, too.
"I lived in (Los Angeles) for a year and kind of got the mindset that anything that's not the city is the country. Gainesville is the suburbs, so there's no transition from Texas to Florida. I feel like the south is the south, and it's all just kind of the same. It's just like home."
The move also puts Moody closer to his father, Eugene Moody, who lives in Tampa, although the two have rarely spoken since Eugene and Moody's mother, Young Sun, separated when Moody was 6 years old.
Moody said that Gainesville's proximity to his father had nothing to do with his choice, and that UF met a list of ten requirements he brought with him.
"The list of what I wanted the school to have, Florida knocked all of those down," he said
"I checked off all the categories."
With his decision behind him, Moody is eager to get back to the game he loves.
"I'm just excited to play some football," he said. "All the traditions are great, but putting the pads on again, even just to practice, I'm excited.
"I feel weak now because of this whole transfer situation, so I'm just ready to play some ball.