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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Former Trojan visits Gators, considers transfer to UF

Former USC running back Emmanuel Moody - who is considering a transfer to UF - was in Gainesville on Thursday and attended the Gators' closed practice.

The sophomore arrived Wednesday night after visiting North Carolina. He is also planning trips to Oklahoma State and Texas.

"I'm loving my visit (to UF), and I'm going to sit back and discuss it with my family," Moody said. "I'm definitely going to take my visits, and see if I'm still high on Florida."

Moody was the Trojans? second leading rusher in 2006, and decided to leave after issues surfaced regarding his playing time.

While the Gators' program is in better shape than the others he is considering, UF's spread offense and wealth of playmakers may not fit with Moody's desire to be a star tailback.

BThat?s the reason I transferred was to be a feature back," he said. "USC is all about the rotation and getting everybody time, sharing time. I just want to be the feature back."

Since classes at UF, OSU and UNC are already in session, Moody doesn?t have long to make a choice.

Classes will begin at Texas on August 29.

"It's the recruiting process all over again," he said. "I was stressing out, but it's good stress. I see a lot of positives coming out of it."

There is a chance the Gators could land two former Trojans, as wide receiver Jamere Holland was dismissed from the team Sunday and is also seeking a new home.

The two are making their decisions separately, but that hasn't kept Moody from influencing his former teammate.

"I joked around about it, saying, 'Just come to whatever school I come to,'" Moody said.

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"That's a joke, though, because he has his own preference and I have my own, too."

While he couldn?t get much of a look at the Gators' offense in one day, Moody was impressed by the character of the team.

"I talked to a lot of the players; there are a lot of good guys out here," he said. "They just told me that it?s a family out here. All I have to say is that there are good people here."

Moody already has one friend at UF - he and running back Kestahn Moore played together growing up.

"It was in peewee league back in Texas," Moore said. "Me and Emmanuel played in the same area, so we played against each other a couple of times. We might have even been on the same team one time, it was so far back.

"We've seen each other a couple of times (since). When I went back home, I think it was spring break, we called each other a couple of times."

When Moody began to look at other colleges, he called Moore for some background on UF.

"I talked to him, he was already thinking about coming here,C Moore said. BHe was just asking questions, basically."

Moody had high expectations for this season after rushing for 459 yards on 79 carries, and he was featured along with two other Trojans tailbacks on a regional cover of Sports Illustrated's college football preview edition.

After a promising start last year, Moody missed the final four games with an ankle injury, and an injured hamstring caused him to miss the majority of spring practice.

With all the time off, Moody slid down the depth chart and told the Los Angeles Times last week that he felt "forgotten" among USC?s ten backs.

Regardless of his decision, Moody will have to sit out for one year before being allowed to play.

Although Moore could end up in a battle for playing time with his friend, the current UF starter isn?t worried.

"I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing," Moore said. "We've still got running backs here, so there has always been competition. It's nothing new to me; I'm always ready for competition."

So who was better in peewee league?

"Both of us had different talents, so I can't say," Moore said. "I mean, I was good."

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