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41 DAYS TO 2023 KICKOFF: Austin Moore

In which BracketCat counts down the 41st day until the 2023 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State linebacker Austin Moore.

#41 Austin Moore
The 2022 Big 12 Championship season was a revelation for high-flying linebacker Austin Moore (41), a former walk-on who led the team in tackles and is poised for even greater things in 2023. Oh, and P.S. It was a damn fumble/safety, Big 12 refs.
Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images

NOTE: Kansas State has elected to advance players’ classification even though the 2020 season did not affect eligibility. Those who wish to take advantage of this extra year will be listed as a (“super”) senior again after their original eligibility would have been exhausted.

#41 Austin Moore

Redshirt Senior | 6-1 | 219 lbs. | Louisburg, Kansas
Austin Moore
Austin Moore
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Linebacker
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Starter
  • Status: On Scholarship

Richard Austin “The Machine” Moore (b. June 30, 2000) is a former walk-on linebacker from Louisburg High School who redshirted during the 2019 season but eventually earned a scholarship and cemented himself as a starting linebacker for Chris Klieman.

He earned his degree in kinesiology from Kansas State in May, while he currently is working on his minors in gerontology and biology.

You can read more about the origin story here. Regarding the nickname, junior defensive end Nate Matlack explains it rather well:

(Moore)’s a hard-working, nose-to-the-grindstone type of guy. We always call him “The Machine” because that’s what he is. He puts in the work every day and never skips a rep. He’s just that type of guy who does all the little things right all the time and that’s why he is where he is now.

Moore saw action in seven games during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season — primarily on special teams — while also serving as a reserve linebacker and totaling four tackles on the season, including a season-high three against Kansas.

He also earned first-team Academic All-Big 12 honors following that season as he was one of 13 players in the league to be nominated with a 4.0 grade-point average.

Moore then played in all 13 games in 2021, including earning his first career start at Kansas, as he finished the year with 18 tackles and three tackles for loss. He posted a career-best five tackles against the Jayhawks, while he had three apiece against both TCU and LSU.

Moore tallied his first full tackle for loss against the Horned Frogs and had half a tackle for loss in four of his final five games. He also remained a significant contributor on kickoff coverage and the punt return unit, and again was a first-team Academic All-Big 12 honoree.

During the 2022 Big 12 Championship season, Moore started all 14 games, leading the team with 87 tackles and ranking second with 10 tackles for loss en route to All-Big 12 honorable mention accolades from the league’s coaches.

He also had 1.5 sacks, an interception, four pass breakups, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery, while his two forced fumbles came against TCU and Oklahoma State as he tied for first in the Big 12 Conference for conference-only games.

Moore tallied at least five tackles in every regular-season contest, while he had at least eight stops in five games and also registered at least half a tackle for loss in nine of 14 games.

He collected a career-best nine tackles against both Oklahoma and TCU, while he posted eight tackles each against Tulane, Baylor and Kansas.

Moore set a new career high with two tackles for loss against Missouri and came back with two more the next week against Tulane, when he also carded his first career full sack.

He successfully defended two passes against both Texas Tech and Iowa State — the first ones of his career — in addition to one more in the Big 12 Championship game against TCU.

Moore’s contest against the Red Raiders included his first career interception and he recovered a fumble in the Big 12 Championship (and it should have been two, plus a safety).

An Academic All-District honoree from College Sports Communicators in addition to earning first-team Academic All-Big 12 accolades, he again was nominated with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average.

Moore prepped under head coach Robert Ebenstein at Louisburg High School, where he helped the other Wildcats to earn an 11-2 record in 2018 and a trip to the state playoffs.

He earned first-team all-state honors as a running back during his senior season from The Topeka Capital-Journal and The Wichita Eagle, while he was an honorable mention pick from both organizations as a junior.

Moore also picked up three all-league honors as a linebacker and two as a running back, and he was a finalist for the Frank Fontana Award as the most outstanding high school football player in the smaller class in the greater Kansas City area.

He totaled 226 tackles, five forced fumbles and 17 tackles for loss in addition to rushing for 3,021 yards during his prep career.

Moore also was a three-time state qualifier in wrestling who finished fourth at State in 2019.

He enters the 2023 season with an abundance of confidence, to say the least:

We want to elevate and raise the bar, and we want to set new expectations of what it means to have a great year at K-State. (We want to) win the Big 12 Championship, win every game we play, get into the playoff, and give ourselves a chance for something special.