USC senior linebacker Skai Moore was among the football players introduced to the crowd at halftime of Saturday night’s basketball game with Ole Miss and he confirmed to The State’s Josh Kendall that he will indeed return for the 2017 season.
USC coach Will Muschamp, who did not talk to the media Saturday night, had said at the Birmingham Bowl that Moore’s intentions were to return but this was the first actual confirmation by Moore who missed all of this season recovering from neck surgery.
Moore has started 24 games in his career and has led the Gamecocks in tackling each season he has played. He can become the first Gamecock in history to lead the team four straight years in tackles. He also has 11 career interceptions, third best all time for the Gamecocks.
His return will be a bonus to a Gamecock defense that lacked great tacking and speed this season. He also will help offset the departures of starting linebackers TJ Holloman and Jonathan Walton. He will team with Bryson Allen-Williams and TJ Brunson to give the Gamecocks a formidable trio at linebacker.
Moore earned second team All-SEC honors after the 2015 season. He was the Defensive MVP in the 2014 Independence Bowl and was a second team Freshman All American in 2013.