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Tuesday, February 19, 2013
The SEC's best 25 players: No. 6

By Edward Aschoff

He might have been new to the league, but the next member of our countdown finished the year as one of the nation's best players overall:

No. 6: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M, Jr.

2012 summary: Moore enjoyed a very successful first -- and only -- year in the SEC. He earned All-SEC honors from both the Associated Press and the league's coaches and was also a second-team All-American after ranking seventh nationally in tackles for loss (21) and eighth in sacks (12.5). He was third in the SEC in both categories. He also led the Aggies with 85 total tackles (57 solo), becoming the first defensive lineman since Sam Adams in 1993 to lead Texas A&M in tackles.

Most recent ranking: Not ranked in the 2012 preseason countdown.

Making the case for Moore: Talk about a debut in your new conference. After switching from outside linebacker to defensive end in the Aggies' new 4-3 defensive scheme, Moore really took off and became one of the SEC's toughest defenders to either stop or contain in 2012. He had a solid sophomore campaign in 2011, but he was a much more complete player in 2012. He had a tendency to take plays off in 2011, but coach Kevin Sumlin and his staff made sure that wasn't a part of Moore's game last fall. He took conditioning more seriously during the offseason -- with help from his coaches pushing him even more -- and was able to stay on the field longer for the Aggies. He was an absolute force coming off the edge, and it was a real shame that he wasn't up for any of the top defensive awards in college football last season. Moore recorded at least two tackles for loss in each of the first seven games of the season and finished the year with three multi-sack games. Moore found himself making plays all over the field because of his high football IQ and because he could cover a lot of ground, despite coming off of the defensive line. With his enormous wingspan and his exceptional speed, he wasn't just important as a rush end, as he spent plenty of time chasing players all over the field. Moore was an extremely versatile player last fall and decided to take his talents to the NFL early. He's expected to be a top-5 pick in April's NFL draft.

The Rundown