BOONE — When Appalachian State running back Jalin Moore went through drills at the Appalachian State Pro Day April 4, his injured ankle was in the back of his mind.
After about two hours of workouts in front of scouts and coaches from 23 NFL teams, Moore took a big step towards shaking off his injury. Moore’s senior season came to a close on Oct. 9 when he dislocated his ankle on a 27-yard touchdown run at Arkansas State.
His interest from NFL teams has stayed strong. He was invited to participate in the Senior Bowl, but his ankle kept him from playing. Moore was also invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, but again, his ankle limited him to bench-pressing 225 pounds as many times that he could. To his credit, he ripped out 27 reps of 225 pounds, which was the second highest amount among running backs.
Moore was able to do all the drills on his Pro Day except run the 40-yard dash. He said that as the workouts continued, he felt better about his performance.
“I felt better as it went on,” Moore said. “I felt more confidence in my ankle as we went on. I came out here not really too sure what it was going to be like, but I knew my hands would be good, so I’ve been practicing that. I know a lot of teams kind of didn’t know how good my hands were, but I did a lot of catching drills. They were trying to make me drop balls, but that didn’t happen. All jokes aside, I felt real good. All the hard work I’ve been putting in with the ankle and the therapy, I could see the results in that.”
Moore finished his App State career with 3,570 yards and 34 rushing touchdowns. His career average of 6.13 yards per carry is the most in school history and his rushing yards and rushing touchdown totals are both sixth in school history.
He had gained 400 yards on 63 carries in his senior season when he was injured against Arkansas State. He sat out the rest of the season, and instead, concentrated on turning himself into an NFL player.
Moore said he hasn’t trusted his ankle to hold up “for too long” but showed confidence in it when going through the various agility drills. Moore did not run the 40-yard dash, which is generally a standard drill during the NFL Combine and for pro days, because he felt he hasn’t practiced enough on the techniques of running the 40-yard dash.
Moore did the shuttles, but added since he does not have a track and field background, he needs to work on rehabilitating his ankle and make sure it’s strong enough to withstand the wear and tear of a football game.
“My main focus is I’m trying to get football ready,” Moore said. “There’s a lot of stuff that goes into the 40. The start is (important) because you’re trying to get the first 10 (yards) and there’s a whole lot of detailed stuff that I didn’t get to go over. I’m trying to strengthen the ankle up and just get it as strong as possible and being able to run.”
Moore went through the different drills run by NFL coaches with receiver Dominique Heath, who showed his stop-and-start abilities during running and pass-catching drills.
Moore knows that it’s important for running backs to be able to catch passes in the NFL.
Moore also said the questions the scouts ask him the most deal with his ankle and his determination to come back.
“I felt real good,” Moore said. “With all the hard work I’ve been putting in, and going to therapy and following through, I could see the result of that and I’m ready.”
Moore said the return has not been easy, but “The hardest part? Just pushing through those cloudy days,” Moore said. “I’m the type of guy who when I’m down, I look at things when I was up and all my accomplishments and stuff. It also humbles me because I remember where I came from. When I came here, I was sixth-string on the depth chart. I’m just trying to keep myself going and weather the storm.”
Moore feels the ankle will be 100 percent by the NFL Draft, which is April 25-27.
“This is my last chance to show everybody out there, including the players and the scouts most importantly that I’m back and I’m on my way back and that I can still move and I’ve still got it. “