DK who?: Argos linebacker Jordan Moore vying for spot as Olympic hurdler

Seattle Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf made headlines around the world when he competed in the 100 meter race at the USATF Golden Games earlier this month, impressing with a respectable time 10.36 but failing to qualify for the Olympic trials.

Many wondered how some CFL speedsters would stack up on the track and we are soon set to find out.

While much a the conversation focused on reigning Most Outstanding Player Brandon Banks or dazzling returners like Janarion Grant, the CFL’s champion at the upcoming US Olympic trials will be a much different type of player.

Toronto Argonauts linebacker Jordan Moore.

The six-foot-three, 225-pound man in the middle of the defence secured his chance to vie for an Olympic berth on June 26 in Eugene, Oregon with a time of 13.4 seconds in the 110 meter hurdles, with at least two meets left to hone that time. He has a ways to go to secure his trip to Japan but Moore has high expectations.

“I may run a 13.3, I may run a 13.5 in the prelims, but I know once I come to those finals, I know the winner of that race is going to run a 13-flat or a 13.1 to go to Tokyo. A lot of those guys I raced in college and I beat, I think my chances are good,” he told Mike Hogan of Argonauts.ca.

“The way I train, I’m naturally gifted at being a hurdler, my speed is way better than it’s ever been and I have great coaches and great doctors around me. I’m training with [2004 long jump] gold medalist Dwight Phillips and my training partner Marquise Goodwin from the Chicago Bears.”

Moore was acquired by the Argos in a trade earlier this offseason. The now 27-year-old played five games for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats last season, recording five defensive tackles and four special teams tackles.

Moore first earned his reputation as a top hurdler while at Texas Christian University, where he played receiver and running back on the football team. He became a Big 12 champion in the 110 meter outdoor hurdles and 60 meter indoor hurdles, before transferring to LSU where he was twice named an All-American.

The Atlanta native returned to the football field in 2016 after transferring again to the University of Texas at San Antonio, tallying 49 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble in 13 games as a safety. He earned contracts with the Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent before finding a home at linebacker in the CFL.

Moore’s linebacker frame is an oddity in the track and field world, but it has never held him back before.

“What most people didn’t know is I ran at 225. When I won the SEC championship outdoors, I weighed in at 227. When I won indoors in the SEC championship, I was maybe 214, 215, but I almost starved myself to get there,” Moore said.

“I know in order for me to be elite and to do what I want to do with this small opportunity that I do have left to run track at this high of a level, I think I want to be 217, 215 in the race. I know for football I’ll be back at 235, 240.”

Whether he ends up in Tokyo or not, Moore will be on the field for the Argos when the CFL season begins and brings an exciting skillset to the table that has the defensive coaching staff drooling.

Maximizing that potential was part of the reason why the newly acquired defender returned to the track.

“What [linebackers] coach Kevin [Eiben] and [general manager] Pinball [Clemons] are asking of me this year, and I know what I’m asking of myself, there’s another level of elite speed that I needed to go to and surpass where I was,” Moore explained.

“In order to be great, I knew there was another level of speed I could go to, I just didn’t want to have a mediocre season.”

The track world has been put on notice and so has the CFL.

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