UCLA receiver says freshman Dante Moore is already a star
UCLA went from splitting time between Ethan Garbers and Dante Moore a week ago to not even playing Garbers in a 35-10 win over San Diego State Saturday night.
Kent State transfer Collin Schlee threw two passes after the game had entered garbage time. Moore started, and it doesn’t look like he’ll be giving that job up anytime soon.
“He’s going to be a star, 100%,” receiver Logan Loya said. “I mean, he already is.”
Throughout his first year with UCLA, Moore has been praised non-stop for his maturity. In his first-ever college game against Coastal Carolina, yes he threw an interception, but he showed immediately the immense potential.
On Saturday, Moore completed 17 of his 27 attempts for 290 yards and three scores. The Bruins started a bit slow — a three-and-out to start, followed by a five-play, 17-yard drive that ended in a punt — but when Moore went deep to Josiah Norwood on P-and-10 from the UCLA 19, it kickstarted everything.
Norwood went for 81 yards and the score. UCLA scored touchdowns on four of its next five drives before halftime.
“He’s not playing like a true freshman,” Loya said. “It’s gonna be fun to watch this year.
“We’ve seen all this and we’ve seen more, so there’s definitely more for you guys to see. I think it will excite you guys for sure. Kid came into college at 17 and came here and played like a dog. I mean, he was making some throws in practice where we were like, ‘Wow, this kid’s impressive.'”
Dorian Thompson-Robinson was outstanding for the Bruins, and his legacy as one of the best to play the position for UCLA is firm, but Moore has a presence as a pure passer that UCLA fans just haven’t seen in a long time.
“I thought Dante did exactly what we’ve seen since he’s been here in January,” coach Chip Kelly said. “He’s special. He’s a special player and to be as advanced as he is at his age is unique.”
Kelly wouldn’t commit to Moore as the starting quarterback going forward. He said the Bruins feel they have three quarterbacks capable of leading the offense, and said the staff will sit down together to discuss the position going forward.
It’ll be Moore, though. It should be.
“I’ve always thought college football was going to be amazing,” Moore said. “And it turned out, it is amazing.”