“They tell me, just go play football. There’s not as much to think about, just go play football.”
That advice from his coaches has made all the difference for Auburn’s T.D. Moultry. A player born with a football name, the first four years of his NCAA career were not ideal. However, after the first game of the season, T.D. appears to be coming into his own. From Birmingham, Alabama, Moultry was destined to be a Tiger.
His love for the university and the team is a big part of why he decided to come back for his fifth year. While Moultry could have left after last season, he capitalized on the extra season of eligibility. This year, with a new coach, new staff, and a new attitude, the EDGE defender is out to prove himself.
As a four-star, top-100 recruit out of Jackson-Olin High School, T.D. Moultry was a coveted prospect. With a long list of offers, including the Alabama Crimson Tide, he committed to Auburn in May of 2016. Since then, he has always been down with War Eagle.
“I love Auburn. I don’t see anywhere else for T.D. to play at,” Moultry said in an interview on Wednesday. “Loving Auburn, that was the main focus.”
Now, back on campus for his last season, Moultry is focused on one thing and one thing only. Football. While he was recruited and played his entire career under Gus Malzahn, the defensive standout is just realizing his potential. It all comes down to confidence.
“The coaches see it and I had never seen it in myself – the confidence was never there, and when I got the confidence, I believe I can do all the positions.” That is something that T.D. and head coach Bryan Harsin have set out to prove this season.
The Transformation of T.D. Moultry
All through the offseason, college football programs put out hype videos. They show guys running, lifting, working hard. Underperforming players from a season ago are featured heavily promising to deliver on their offseason improvement. While those videos get fans hyped for the season, they don’t really show player progress. Only one thing really does, on-field performances. T.D. Moultry arguably started the season with his best performance ever.
A career-high seven tackles, three tackles for loss, and a sack. That’s the stat line that Moultry put up against Akron. In the opening game of the season, he showed energy that wasn’t there before. Now, as the Auburn Tigers prepare to face Alabama State, he has been voted an honorary team captain.
“I’ve been in my lows and my highs. I understand being a captain means I keep being a consistent player and person.” As for those that don’t believe the change is real, keep doubting. “I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder when people doubt me. I love it.”
If the results from the Akron game can be duplicated, then T.D. Moultry is on his way. For a former four-star, he has clearly not had the confidence in the past. At least not the confidence he displayed last weekend. Now, if you are still skeptical, just ask his teammates about him.
Auburn Players and Staff Love T.D.
By all accounts T.D. Moultry is an “extremely hard worker” according to his teammates. Head Coach Harsin has nothing but good things to say. Derek Mason, the defensive coordinator, has had a big impact on Moultry already. Derick Hall, the star of the defense, has also spoken on the work ethic of his fellow EDGE player.
When it comes down to it, this new staff has rejuvenated Moultry. Given him a new lease on his game this year. Injecting confidence into a player is hard to do. However, once they realize the potential, realize that confidence, that is when players become complete. Moultry is going to let it keep growing. One game at a time.
For T.D. there really is only one goal in mind. While winning at Auburn will help get him there, playing professionally has always been on his mind. Now, with his newfound confidence, he is finally living up to the attitude and vision he always had for himself.
“I always told myself I was a walking millionaire, and I still am…Now, the confidence is there. It’s there before the game, it’s going to keep growing every game.”
Backfields beware. There’s a beast on the defensive line that’s been sleep-walking for the last four years. He’s 6’2″ and 253lb of mean muscle and ready to have the best season of his career.