UCLA football: Rahim Moore declares for NFL draft
UCLA safety Rahim Moore said he will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft in April.
Moore, a three-year starter, was named first-team All-American by the Sporting News this season. He led the nation with 10 interceptions in 2009 and was named second-team All-American by the Associated Press and the Walter Camp Foundation. He is the second Bruins player to declare early for the draft, following linebacker Akeem Ayers.
"I just felt like it was time," Moore said. "Leaving UCLA is hard, but it's like I had a mediocre job and now I'm going for a great job. It's not that I think UCLA is mediocre, but I have dreamed about playing in the NFL my whole life."
Moore is rated the top safety in some mock NFL drafts. He spent the last month gathering information on his draft stock but said that he would trust in his abilities.
"I will let my work and interviews at the combine, and my game films, speak for me," he said. "I just know I'm ready."
Moore said he is already involved with an agent, making him ineligible to return to UCLA. Players have until Jan. 18 to withdraw from the draft, as long as they have not signed with an agent.
"I will be returning to school to get my degree," Moore said. "I have a great mom, who raised me right. The degree is important to me."
Moore, who played at Los Angeles' Dorsey High School, started immediately at UCLA, the first true freshman to start for the Bruins since Matt Ware in 2001. He was a presence in the locker room as well as on the field.
The Bruins, though, are deep at safety. Dietrich Riley, who will be a sophomore, is expected to slide into Moore's spot, either at free safety or at strong safety, with Tony Dye moving to free safety.
In other UCLA news, defensive tackle David Carter has been selected to play in the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 22.
-- Chris Foster
Photo: Rahim Moore. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times.