University of Missouri

Mizzou’s Josh Moore, an Olathe North graduate, opts to transfer

Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Josh Moore got to Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Tanner Mangum during a game in 2015.
Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Josh Moore got to Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Tanner Mangum during a game in 2015.

Missouri defensive lineman Josh Moore announced Monday on Twitter that he planned to transfer.

Moore, an Olathe North graduate and former three-star prospect with a dozen big-time offers, appeared in 16 games during the last two seasons.

“Thank you Mizzou for the great memories, but I plan to transfer and follow other opportunities academically and athletically,” Moore posted on his Twitter account.

Initially, Moore (6-5, 260) packed on weight in an attempt to shift inside and play defensive tackle. He appeared in 11 games as a true freshman in 2015, recording nine tackles with a half-tackle for loss and one quarterback hurry

Under new coach Barry Odom, the Tigers’ staff wanted him to lose weight and rebuild himself, which caused him to bounce between defensive end and tackle.

“I had too much body-fat percentage,” Moore said in fall camp, explaining why he’d slimmed down from 290 pounds to 255. “It was up there.”

Moore — who also played tight end at Olathe North, where he was an all-state performer — only appeared in five games last fall, finishing with two tackles, including a half-tackle for a loss.

After initially committing to Ohio State and then Kansas, Moore eventually chose Mizzou over offers from Auburn, Florida State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas Tech among others.

He conquered cancer as a child before emerging as a prep star on the gridiron.

Moore’s decision hurts the Tigers’ depth at a position that was already thin. Mizzou returns five defensive ends (Marcell Frazier, Spencer Williams, Jordan Harold, Nate Howard and Tre Williams) and four defensive tackles (Markell Utsey, Terry Beckner Jr., Tyrell Jacobs and A.J. Logan).

Howard, Utsey and Beckner all underwent knee surgery during the last year.

Three defensive linemen are currently committed to MU in the 2017 recruiting class: New Mexico Military Institute end Nate Anderson, ASA College tackle Rashad Brandon and Hammond (La.) end Chris Turner.

With Moore’s departure, the Tigers have lost eight players during the offseason.

Running back Ryan Williams, a Lee’s Summit West graduate, and wide receiver DeSean Blair decided to transfer last week. Before that, offensive lineman Tanner Owen, a Kearney graduate, left the program. Quarterback Marvin Zanders and safety Greg Taylor decided to transfer in December, while wide receiver Keyon Dilosa was dismissed last month.

Finally, defensive end Charles Harris, a Lincoln Prep graduate, declared early for the NFL Draft.

Tod Palmer: 816-234-4389, @todpalmer