There are several numbers that can define the growth Tennessee true freshman cornerback Emmanuel Moseley has seen since enrolling in the spring.
You can talk about his speed in terms of 4.3, that’s how many seconds it takes him to run the 40-yard dash. You can talk about his size: 145 pounds is what he played at in high school and after adding over 30 pounds, he weighs in around 178 pounds now. Two is another significant number – that’s how many stars some recruiting services gave him coming out of Greensboro, NC.
One is another important number, as in working with the first team. That’s what Moseley started doing in the spring as an early enrollee and he’s continued to do that this fall. The unlikely freshman standout said he never had any doubts about what he could do.
“Ever since I was younger, I always started, so I kept the expectations high,” Moseley said in his first meeting with the media on Tuesday afternoon. “Everyone always doubted me because of my size, but I just came in and wanted to ball out.“
His size was what kept many programs from offering, but it wasn’t going to keep him down once he got to Tennessee. Thanks to an assist from team nutritionist Allison Maurer, Moseley got on a plan to gain weight immediately and solid pounds started flying on.
That meant triple-stacked peanut butter sandwiches in the middle of the night sometimes. That also meant adding weight, losing it while keeping up with his running and then putting it back on
“That was the biggest adjustment – putting on the weight and keeping my speed,” he said.
“His style of play has never changed in terms of his swagger, his competitive nature, his instincts, but obviously he is playing a lot more physical just because of the added strength,” added Jones. “The great thing about Emmanuel putting on 33 pounds, they are the right pounds. Allison does a great job in our fueling station and works very closely with Jason [McVeigh] and Dave Lawsonand they have done great job. And also a lot of credit goes to him.”
Showing up in the spring was a huge aid in Moseley’s development. Not only did it give him a head start on gaining the weight, it also taught him the defensive scheme. Jones always says he doesn’t want his players’ mind to tie up their feet. That advanced level of knowledge of what he’s doing on the field has helped him take full advantage of his natural speed this fall.
“It was a big advantage because in the spring I was learning the plays but now I have the plays down and I can move faster,” Moseley said. “If you’re a 4.3 guy and you don’t know the plays, you’re really not a 4.3 guy. When you know the plays, you can attack. It’s way better.”