Caught up with two-time All-American safety Rahim Moore, who declared for the NFL Draft today. He leaves Westwood at No. 4 on the school's all-time list for interceptions with 14. Here's what he had to say:
Obviously today is a memorable day for you. But how disappointing is it to leave UCLA without having the success you had hoped for?
Moore: Yeah, it's disappointing in a way because I love to win and we all do at UCLA. When you lose you feel so bad. And especially for me when I lose I can't sleep for nothing. When we did come up with a win I ended up having the best sleep ever. But I love UCLA no matter the conditions. I went through it all here but embraced it, came to work hard each and every day and love my teammates from the bottom of my heart.
How difficult is it grasp that you won't be coming out of the Rose Bowl tunnel anymore? You probably would have received the loudest ovation at next year's Senior Day...
Moore: After the last game of the season [against USC], man, I walked off the field differently than I normally do. I was mad that we lost, but as I was walking I told myself, "Rahim, this is your decision to make. This might be the last time you're walking on these grounds as a player."
I didn't know what to do, man, because I was shocked to be in this situation. I never planned on this type of life. I prayed and put this in God's hands and talked to my family. I told myself, "You have a chance to fulfill your dreams of 20 years. Why not go ahead and do it?" I'm not going to the NFL for the money or the fame, I'm going for a career. That's something I've been dying for since I've been living, since I first saw a football. I felt like it was time for me to go.
You were one of the most passionate collegiate players I've had a chance to talk to. Are you comfortable knowing you've played your last collegiate game?
Moore: I'm never comfortable. I don't believe in getting too comfortable with stuff like that. The only thing I can think of is that I wanted to win more games for UCLA. We were up and down sometimes and I welcomed all that. I never pointed the finger at anybody, I'm a team player. Right when I was getting dressed for the USC game, I was looking at everybody else like, "Man, this might be my last time. I might be putting on a different uniform next year." It was kind of scary. I was crying before the game like I always do; they were happy tears. As I was leaving the field I was doing the same thing.
What information did you gather when you were asking others about your draft stock?
Moore: I listened to what people said but I went on my heart and what I felt. I felt that it was time for me to move on.
What are your immediate plans going forward?
Moore: I want to be at the combine [starting Feb. 23] so I can go out there and show the scouts what I can do. I'll definitely have a Pro Day once all that stuff is worked out.
Special plans for draft day?
Moore: I would love to be in New York. That's always been something I've wanted to do, so hopefully I'll get a chance to do that. That would be a blessing.