Early on National Signing Day, the Auburn Tigers lost out on five-star wide receiver George Pickens, who committed to join the Georgia Bulldogs at the final hour. Even without Pickens, head coach Gus Malzahn and the Auburn football staff hold a top-tier recruiting class once again, but it turns out the signing day fireworks were only just beginning.
From Louisville High School in Mississippi, consensus four-star defensive end Charles Moore was surrounded by family members with two LSU Tiger hats sitting on a table in front of him. After thanking his family, teachers and coaches, Moore suddenly pulled out an Auburn hat and gloves, then committed to the Tigers’ program by announcing, “I guess it’s War Eagle.”
The No. 6 strongside defensive end in the country considered offers from Florida, Florida State, LSU and Mississippi State. Moore was initially committed to the Mississippi State Bulldogs in Starkville, but a standout performance at the Under Armour All-American Game reopened his recruiting, and he became a favorite to land in The Plains.
According to Tyler Horka of the Clarion Ledger, Moore didn’t want the “flamboyant” lifestyle that he’d be surrounded by if he attended LSU and played for head coach Ed Orgeron. Moore also feared he would “get into trouble” if he were an LSU Tiger.
“Auburn wasn’t the place initially that I wanted to go to because it’s in a secluded, country area. I wanted to live a flamboyant lifestyle. But actually, going to college isn’t about that life. When you go to college, that 3-4 years is to set you up for the rest of your life.
“If I was to go to LSU, me being the person that I am, I probably could have got in trouble or something could have came up. Things could’ve just happened. I actually feel like Auburn is where my blessing is.”
— Charles Moore, via Tyler Horka on Twitter
After missing the entire 2017 season with an injury, Moore returned as a senior to lead Louisville to the Mississippi 4A State Championship, which was the ninth state title in school history. The 6-foot-4, 268-pound defensive lineman led a Wildcats defense that allowed a microscopic 8.1 points per game and posted six shutouts during a 15-1 campaign last season.
Moore, who has the size and speed to play anywhere along the defensive front for Auburn and defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, adds much-needed depth to a defense that allowed 135.9 rushing yards per game during the 2018 college football season.
Moore joins Derick Hall (Gulfport, MS), Colby Wooden (Lawrenceville, GA), and Jaren Handy (Hattiesburg, MS) as the newest additions to the Tigers front four that hopes to return the Auburn football program back to its former glory in 2019 and beyond.