BOONE, N.C. — Recognizing his talent and hard work, the Reese's Senior Bowl announced Appalachian State running back Jalin Moore as the first player to officially accept an invitation.
The prestigious all-star game held Jan. 26 in Mobile, Ala., will cap a week in which the top seniors in college football compete and work out in front of NFL personnel. Labeled by many as the top NFL prospect in the Sun Belt Conference, Moore increased his career totals to 3,570 rushing yards and 34 total touchdowns before he suffered a season-ending ankle fracture and dislocation Oct. 9.
The injury occurred at the end of a 27-yard touchdown run in which Moore, whose ability to squat 650 pounds helped put him at No. 1 among running backs on NFL.com's list of the most “freakish athletes” in college football, pulled a defender on his back for the final 10 yards. The timetable for his recovery was set at eight to 12 weeks.
“The way Jalin Moore is attacking the rehab process in order to come back and play in the Senior Bowl needs to be commended, which is why he is our first official accepted invite,” Reese's Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy said. “NFL decision-makers are looking for gritty and resilient competitors that love football, and Jalin is proving he has all those qualities. We look forward to seeing him in Mobile.”
Moore had four games with at least 235 rushing yards for App State and entered his senior year with consecutive seasons of more than 1,000 rushing yards. At the time of his injury, he ranked No. 2 among active FBS players in career rushing yards.
His abbreviated senior season included two-touchdown performances in which he rushed for 119 yards on eight carries against Gardner-Webb and 123 yards on 19 carries against South Alabama. He scored on a career-long run of 81 yards in the Gardner-Webb game and had a career-high five catches in the overtime loss at Penn State, where he broke two tackles on a go-ahead, 16-yard touchdown with 1:47 left in regulation.
The leadership and maturity that led to Moore being a two-time team captain have been on display since he was injured last month.
“I've got so many bright things ahead of me,” Moore said earlier this month, after having his cast removed. “I don't care if it was the worst injury ever, I've got faith that I'm going to be better than what I used to be.”