Auburn football: LSU transfer receiver Koy Moore impresses Bryan Harsin – Montgomery Advertiser

AUBURN — When Bryan Harsin was asked at SEC Media Days which Auburn football players have stepped up as leaders this offseason, the expectation was a series of familiar names.
He dropped one surprise. A much-needed one.
Auburn’s receiver room has been thin in both years of the Harsin era, from an experience and production standpoint. Going into last season, the Tigers lost their three leading pass catchers from 2020. This time, they’ve lost two of the top three from 2021.
But the position group’s lack of star power isn’t just a Harsin problem. Auburn is the only SEC program without an individual 1,000-yard receiving season this century. With still only two in program history (most recently Ronney Daniels in 1999), the Tigers don’t seem to have a true standout on the 2022 roster who can approach that threshold.
But there is an unexpected source of optimism who could reach that point eventually.
So back to Harsin’s answer. Leaders. How about receiver Koy Moore, who transferred June 4 from LSU?
“He wants to be here, and he wants to help us win,” Harsin said. “So he’s got a little bit of experience and I think he’s helped some of those younger wide receivers.”
Harsin couldn’t stop gushing about Moore’s intangibles, which is rare considering the receiver is the second-newest member of Auburn’s roster. His profile might fit what the Tigers needed on the field, too. First, he’s 6-foot-1 and a physical 192 pounds. Height is a commodity in a position group where the future doesn’t look particularly tall. (Ja’Varrius Johnson, Jay Fair and Tar’Varish Dawson are all 5-10.)
Second, Moore had 27 catches for 248 yards in two years at LSU. Seems small, but Auburn only returns 996 yards combined from last season’s receivers. (That number includes Landen King, who moved full-time from tight end to receiver this offseason.) Every bit of experience matters.
Third, and this is most important, is what Auburn needs Moore to be: fast and elusive. A play-maker who can create after the catch.
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Last year in college football, there were 44 receivers with at least 60 targets who averaged at least 6.5 yards after the catch. Auburn’s three starters all crossed the 60-target threshold, but Kobe Hudson was the closest thing to a true play-maker with the ball in his hands. His average was 5.9 YAC per reception. He’s gone for UCF now. 
Among Auburn’s returners, Shedrick Jackson averaged just 4.2 YAC last season. Ja’Varrius Johnson averaged 3.7. Malcolm Johnson Jr. averaged 3.2. Hence the vital nature of newcomers.
Is Moore the solution? Auburn thinks he can be. In those 27 career receptions at LSU, he averaged only 3 yards after the catch. But the number skyrocketed in his shortened 2021, when he turned five receptions into 71 yards, averaging 7.4 YAC. He entered the transfer portal after LSU fired Ed Orgeron.
That’s obviously a small sample size – certainly not someone you tab to end the 23-year 1,000-yard receiving drought – but right now it’s Auburn’s sign of hope.
In Moore’s first day working out with the team this summer, he was thrown a short inside slant. “He snatched it and just took off,” Harsin remembers. “So everyone’s like, ‘Hmmm, all right.’ You’re like, ‘OK, that dude, he can move.'”
Moore lined up at LSU mostly in the slot, where turning short routes into big plays is paramount. Entering preseason practices, Harsin’s praise indicates the Metairie, Louisiana, native might be a serious contender with Johnson for Auburn’s starting slot receiver.
“I do think we have a couple guys we can throw a hitch to, and they can make somebody miss,” Harsin said. “You can throw a 6-yard hitch, and a guy can take it 80. I do think we have a couple of those guys. We have more of those guys than we did. You’ve got to have that in order to create some explosive plays.”
When asked for specific names who can turn the hitch route into 80? Harsin’s answer was Koy Moore.


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