Opting back in: Vanderbilt LB Dimitri Moore plans to play this fall
Less than 2 weeks after coach Derek Mason revealed that LB Dimitri Moore opted out of the 2020 season, the team’s leading tackler has decided to play after all.
Moore’s decision was reported by Adam Sparks of The Tennessean, who added that Moore is the team’s leading tackler, an NFL Draft prospect and a Butkus Award candidate. His return means Vanderbilt will return all 11 defensive starters from last season. Moore made 99 tackles last season, with 3 pass breakups. He made the fourth-highest number of tackles in the SEC last season.
“After my grandfather’s passing from COVID-19, I made a decision to opt out of the upcoming football season,” Moore told Sparks. “Since then, I have done more research and had many conversations with doctors and medical personnel. I look forward to returning to the program and playing this season, and I have made this decision on my own. As a team, we are responsible for our actions and hold each other accountable within our environment. I have trust and confidence in Vanderbilt’s testing abilities and safety protocols.”
Because Vanderbilt paused practice since Friday after multiple players tested positive for COVID-19, Moore has missed only 4 practices. When it was announced that Moore opted out, he was not the only one. Others were placekicker Oren Milstein and offensive linemen Cole Clemens, Bryce Bailey and Jonathan Stewart.