6-2 / 220
Cooper City, Fla. (University)
A three-star recruit, Moore chose the Gamecocks over Tennessee, Texas A&M, Ohio State, and many others.
The most decorated South Carolina Gamecock on the active roster, Skai burst on the scene as a true freshman to lead the team with 56 tackles and four INT's, which earned him a spot on the Freshman All-SEC team. He led the team for a second consecutive year in 2014 with 93 tackles (the most since Jasper Brinkley’s 107 in 2006), including 10+ tackle games against Georgia, Florida, Clemson and Miami. Last season, Moore tallied up the third highest tackle count in the SEC (111) and set the mark for most tackles by a Gamecock in more than 25 years. His four interceptions and three fumbles also ranked third in the SEC, and first on the team. He earned second-team All-SEC honors.
The majority of Gamecock fans felt like kids on Christmas morning when Skai Moore announced that he was NOT going to leave school early for the NFL and would be returning for his final year in Columbia. That same majority of Gamecock fans felt an all-too-familiar sinking feeling upon learning that his sparkling career in South Carolina would be taking a sidestep this season after undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck. This isn’t new news to anyone, but what is worth noting is that his recovery is going well. He’s even been on the practice fields recently:
Skai Moore, middle, is here on the sidelines. pic.twitter.com/lKr1CJZyqw— GoGamecocks.com (@gogamecocks) August 15, 2016
Skai Moore will not be playing football for the Gamecocks this year. Tasked with filling his ridiculously talented shoes are Bryson Allen-Williams, Larenz Bryant, Jonathan Walton, and others. They’re capable, sure (and by all accounts the defensive unit may actually improve overall even without Moore), and some schematic changes will mean that the defense will be less dependent on one or two players to hold it all together, but what is going to be most difficult to replace is Skai Moore’s uncanny ability to be near to, or directly involved in, the biggest plays of nearly every game. We’ve seen what it’s like to have him involved in and absent from the squad; let’s hope that the rest of the team rises to the occasion, and that Skai gets well soon.