CEDAR FALLS — Briley Moore arrived on Northern Iowa’s campus in 2016 after a decorated prep career. A three-year starter for Blue Springs (Mo.) High School, Moore starred at wide receiver — reeling in 15 touchdowns as a senior — while also standing out in basketball. However, Moore committed to UNI knowing he’d be making a position switch to tight end.
Three years and 40-plus pounds later, Moore has become a fixture in Northern Iowa’s offense, racking up 81 catches and 1,090 yards in his career. Standing 6 feet, 3 inches and weighing in at 242 pounds, he has also become one of the the FCS’ best run-blocking tight ends.
Moore will once again be counted on to make life easier for UNI’s backfield with new starters coming into the quarterback and running back positions this fall
“(Briley) obviously has a lot of playing experience,” UNI offensive coordinator Ryan Mahaffey said this spring. “He has a dimension to his game where you can line him up in a lot of different positions and that adds multiplicity to your offense. At the same time, he’s a smart guy where you can play him at multiple positions and he can really know what all 11 are doing out on the field. That’s a very, very valuable weapon. That’s something that really separates him from a lot of different people who play (tight end).”
UNI football players of impact
How Mahaffey utilizes Moore in his first year as Panthers offensive coordinator will be something to watch, especially when considering his description of the senior’s ability to line up at different positions.
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When Moore has lined up in the slot in previous seasons, he’s routinely taken advantage of mismatches. However, there’s a balance that must be struck as his ability to impact games as an in-line blocker easily meets the eye.
“(Briley’s) a unique type of player,” Mahaffey said. “I think the thing that separates Briley is his aggressiveness and his mentality that he has out on the field. He wants to play aggressive. He doesn’t back away from a challenge.”
That aggressiveness has helped make Moore an especially intriguing talent. He’s shown an ability to make acrobatic catches typically reserved for wide receivers, while also bowling over opponents with an unmatched downhill running style after the catch.
Hero Sports named Moore the Missouri Valley’s best tight end after 2018, and there’s already been talk about his potential to make the NFL. Before possibly playing on Sunday’s UNI will be counting on Moore to help lead its offense back to the FCS Playoffs in 2019.