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Irish A-to-Z: Kendall Moore

Jul 29, 2014, 12:19 PM EDT

Notre Dame v Stanford Notre Dame v Stanford

One of four fifth-year players on the Irish roster, Kendall Moore has been a part of the Notre Dame football program for a long time. Originally recruited by Charlie Weis, Moore kept his pledge when Brian Kelly took over, and the Irish landed a linebacker who has struggled to break through a depth chart that had him playing behind Manti Te’o, Jarrett Grace and now Joe Schmidt.

But while Moore couldn’t find regular playing time, he’s been a special teams fixture, and contributed last season when the defense was in need of a linebacker to play in Grace’s place. An interception against Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl was a worthy reward to a solid program player, topped only by one final year in South Bend as a seasoned veteran.

Let’s take a closer look at Kendall Moore.


6’1″ 251 lbs.
Grad Student, No. 8



Moore was a four-star recruit, a first-team All-State player from North Carolina, an area that Kelly and his staff recruited hard. With offers from Clemson, Florida State, both North Carolina programs and South Carolina, Moore was a big, physical, explosive player coming out of high school.

He was inherited by the Irish coaching staff, but re-recruited, hosting Kelly first and then Bob Diaco and Kerry Cooks as he stayed true to his commitment.

The Irish coaching staff saw him as a bit of a tweener, likely having the ability to play both inside linebacker positions as well as the Cat/rush backer.

“He is a defensive player for us that could probably play a couple of different positions. You can see him coming off the edge,” Kelly said on Signing Day. “Been looked at as a tight end as well. He’s got the athleticism in space. He does a great job here. You can see him play the option.  Again, a guy who will complement our defensive structure.”



Freshman Season (2010): Did not see action.

Sophomore Season (2011): Played in all 13 games, seeing time primarily on special teams but also as a reserve linebacker. Made four tackles in the win against Maryland, including one TFL. Also made a TFL against Navy.

Junior Season (2012): Appeared in all 13 games, made 10 total tackles. Had seven special teams tackles, including six on kickoff coverage. Was the team’s third-leading special teams tackler.

Senior Season (2013): Played in all 13 games, made 17 tackles on the season, including one TFL. Had five tackles against Air Force. Made a diving interception against Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl. Also contributed three tackles against Stanford.



If Moore was going to make a push to see the field, he’d have done it this spring. But with Grace still recovering from surgery and Nyles Morgan not on campus yet, the middle linebacker job was all about Joe Schmidt, with the former walk-on showing better range and athleticism than Moore.

While Moore has yet to start a game in his career in South Bend, there were early hints at a productive player. Moore’s tackles-per-snap were the highest of any defender on the roster in 2011, making a stop in over 19 percent of his snaps, and making him a trendy dark horse candidate to make a move into the starting lineup. Ultimately, those numbers looked to be a product of sample size, buoyed by his performance against Maryland. Also not helping his case? Moore was stuck behind a once-in-a-generation player like Manti Te’o.

Moore’s physical limitations likely also play a role in his playing time. At 6-foot-1 and over 250 pounds, Moore isn’t the type of lengthy athlete that Diaco preferred, and VanGorder likely wants his linebackers able to cover more ground sideline to sideline as well.



We’ve talked about transitional recruiting classes, and Moore was targeted and recruited by a different coaching staff. That helps to explain some of the difficulties he’s had at Notre Dame. While he’s had a serviceable career in South Bend, he’s yet to make an impact in the starting 11, and it doesn’t appear that he’ll do it in 2014, either.

But Brian Kelly has shown a tremendous amount of loyalty to players who are good to the program. Just as he did with Tyler Stockton, bringing Moore back for a fifth year likely says something about his value to the team, even if he isn’t projected to play much.

That being said, if there’s a position that’s still up in the air it’s linebacker. Outside of Jaylon Smith, what Notre Dame gets out of their linebackers is a huge question mark. That gives Moore a chance, especially if Jarrett Grace is slow to return, Nyles Morgan isn’t quite ready for primetime and Joe Schmidt can’t play an every down role.

Moore has always had a reputation as a big-time thumper, and that could get him some situational work in short yardage or goal line scenarios. A big play or two there and Moore’s fifth year is well earned.


The Irish A-to-Z
Josh Atkinson
Nicky Baratti
Alex Bars
Hunter Bivin
Grant Blankenship
Jonathan Bonner
Justin Brent
Kyle Brindza
Chris Brown
Jalen Brown
Greg Bryant
Devin Butler
Jimmy Byrne
Daniel Cage
Amir Carlisle
Austin Collinsworth
Ben Councell
Scott Daly
Sheldon Day
Michael Deeb
Steve Elmer
Matthias Farley
Tarean Folston
Everett Golson
Jarrett Grace
Conor Hanratty
Eilar Hardy
Mark Harrell
Jay Hayes
Matt Hegarty
Mike Heuerman
Kolin Hill
Corey Holmes
Chase Hounshell
Torii Hunter Jr.
Jarron Jones
DeShone Kizer
Ben Koyack
Christian Lombard
Tyler Luatua
Cole Luke
Nick Martin
Greer Martini
Jacob Matuska
Cam McDaniel
Mike McGlinchey
Colin McGovern
Pete Mokwuah
John Montelus


  1. iamgolden4life - Jul 29, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    I know there are ? marks on this defense but I do think BVG’s new scheme will allow some of the names we aren’t to high on right now to possibly finally breakthrough this year. There will not be as much thinking to do but rather just attacking the football & letting these kids go out and have sum fun playing the game. We could debate all day about these ?’s on the D but ultimately only time will tell if the new approach will be successful. I personally think were gonna be just fine. B4 John brings all his negative input I must remind you this is a man w/ no life that sits home alone all day w/ nothing better to do but troll on other fans boards. His life is pathetic, & he is one who berates 17-18 yr old kids b/c of their stars rating rather than who they really are. I hope you all are better than that and quit giving him the time of day. He’s a LOSER, not you. Only a month to go till kickoff and I’m pumped to the max. WeAreND!!! GoIrish!!!

    • mattymill - Jul 29, 2014 at 10:47 PM

      Iamgolden, good call on John. He posted about 25 times on the last article, and only because he was getting responses. Please folks – no replies, no thumbs up, no thumbs down. With no interaction, he will eventually fade away. Go Irish!

  2. andy44teg - Jul 29, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    I really hope this kid pulls it together for his final season in South Bend. He’s always looked like he could be a great player, just hasn’t clicked on upstairs for him, yet. Big time ND talent.

    • 4horsemenrideagain - Jul 29, 2014 at 3:38 PM

      he’s got the size, speed and strength, and he hits like a mack truck. he just needs to be in the right spot to light guys up.

  3. johngaltisspeaking - Jul 29, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    Big Ten Talent

  4. fnc111 - Jul 29, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    ND is screwed. USC is going to win 10 straight national titles.

  5. danirish - Jul 29, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    He’s a little short but can he catch and block? Isn’t the TE position down one man? Give Moore a shot?

    Just an idea….


  6. getsome99 - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:48 AM

    Moore may be Big Ten talent, probably all conference even, but like Keith said, he’s just a serviceable 5th year role player for Notre Dame. An important role player, but not the stud he would be playing in the Big Ten every week. Another sign of how rich the talent is now under Kelly. 8 draft picks last year and how many did USC have? Every starter on this year’s Notre Dame team will play in the NFL, IF they choose to. And most of the bench players too. That’s better than at least 13 SEC teams.

  7. getsome99 - Jul 30, 2014 at 1:42 AM

    So the new troll is another Nudeman suck up? Anyone else notice a pattern here?

  8. johngaltisspeaking - Jul 30, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    He doesn’t have that SEC swagger. I know because I listened to ESPN.

  9. getsome99 - Jul 30, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    Kendall Moore would also start for most SEC teams.

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