Getting to know … Rahim Moore

The latest draft prospect to stop by the NFL Network studios was Rahim Moore, the two-time All-American safety from UCLA. We took a few minutes Friday to catch up with him on some very important topics as he prepares for the draft:

Let’s start off easy … if they make a movie about Rahim Moore, who plays you?
RM: It would have to be either Mike Epps or Martin Lawrence, because I’m that funny. If they played me, they would ace it.

Who would be your leading lady?
RM: I would say probably Jessica Alba. She’s one of my favorites. … I love her so much. I know she’s married now, but I would love to take her out to dinner one day, or maybe even lunch. I love that girl for some reason.

UCLA safety Rahim Moore (second from right) is interviewed by Scott Hanson, Bucky Brooks and Michael Lombardi on the NFL Network set on Friday. (Gary A. Vasquez/NFL)

OK, fair enough, but where would you bring Jessica Alba?
RM: You know what? A woman like her has probably been to all the spots. I would do something different with her. Maybe we could get some ice cream and take a walk in the park, get to know each other. Get a quarter or a penny and flick it in a fountain and make a wish. I would do that. She’s adorable. I’m not shy.

I’ve read your favorite player is Ed Reed …
RM: He’s one of those guys you want to mimic. He’s so great, and he’s on top of his game right now. He’s also my mentor. He’s one of those guys you feed off his energy. I watch his highlights throughout the week of practice before every game. You have to give credit where credit is due.

How close are you with Reed?
RM: We talk about twice a week throughout the season. But I’ve stayed in contact with him. He gives me tips and preparation. … He heard about me from people saying he was my favorite player. One of my friends was at the Pro Bowl and told Reed about me. Then he called me with Reed next to him, but I was asleep. I’m a big sleeper! I didn’t believe my friend, but then he called me again a few hours later with Reed again. But this time my phone had no service because I was in the (San Fernando) Valley. So then, our cornerbacks coach met Reed some time later and told him about me again. When I finally did get to talk to Reed, it’s crazy, I almost started crying. That’s how much I like the dude. Ever since then, he’s helped me out a lot.

What’s the best advice Reed has given you?
RM: There are two things. I told him about how I prepare quarterback reports every Friday night, and he advised me to prepare them early in the week, to prepare ahead, so by the time I’m in the team hotel, I’m not doing any reviewing and (I’m) letting my mind be well-rested to focus on the game. The other thing is that as a safety, your eyes are the key. He told me he gets his eyes checked a lot. When he told me, I thought it was ridiculous. But when my money starts coming in and I’m blessed to see an eye doctor every week, twice a week, I’m going to do it (laughing)!

You’re a Los Angeles native who went to UCLA. So who is it, Dodgers or Angels?
RM: I would probably die if I didn’t say Dodgers. Those Dodgers fans are like Oakland Raiders fans. I’ll go Dodgers. You know, just to be safe.

This one is easier … Lakers or Clippers?
RM: Lakers! I’m a Lakers fan. Kevin Garnett is my favorite player of all time because of his passion for the game. But Kobe Bryant is the best player in the NBA right now.

How important is it for you to be a first-round pick?
RM: It’s very important. First of all, I feel like, and I mean this in the most humble way, but there aren’t 32 guys in the draft who are better than me to where I couldn’t be a first-round pick. It would be a dream come true. My mind-set, my mental game and my hard work is at a first-round level. I play at a first-round level. I’ve done things that most guys haven’t done. To be a two-time All-American and two-time first-team Pac-10, that says a lot. Maybe I didn’t go to the sexy football school, but I paved my way. Being a first-rounder is a dream. You want to be mentioned as a first-rounder, the best of the best.

Are you the best safety in this draft?
RM: In my eyes, yes. And I mean that in the most humble way. A lot of my favorite players are safeties: Ahmad Black, Deandre McDaniel, Robert Sands, Tyer Sash. I like those guys. I watch them all play. I mean this in the most humble way, but I’m special.

Which player impressed you most at the NFL Scouting Combine?
RM: I would say (Alabama defensive tackle) Marcell Dareus. I’ve never seen a big guy move like him in my life. I watched his pro day, and he looked like a defensive back. I don’t know if they sped up the tape, but that dude looks phenomenal. I want him on my team.

I’ve read you don’t drink soda or eat candy or fast food … really? Have you ever had a Big Mac?
RM: Positive. My body is weird. I can’t drink strong drinks. I can’t even drink cough medicine — I used to cry when my mom forced me. I don’t drink alcohol. … I haven’t had a Big Mac since the 1990s, no lie (laughing).

Don’t worry, they haven’t changed. So what do you crave?
RM: Hot Cheetos! Ohhhhh! I used to crave them. I remember I used to eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I had to stop. I had to turn it around because it was getting addicting. My mom stopped buying them for me and used to get mad at me. It was crazy. I ate some at halftime once during a game. That’s how much I loved them.

What’s the biggest knock on your game you hear from teams?
RM: A lot of teams don’t think I’m physical, although some do. Some say I can be physical at times, but they don’t see the physicality all the time. I tell them, “Do you want a guy who is a knockout artist or do you want a sure tackler?” From what I know, all tackles, big or not, count the same.

Who is the interesting coach you’ve met?
RM: Once coach I felt really connected with was Lions coach Jim Schwartz. I told him I didn’t want to leave the meeting because I liked talking to him. He was very genuine. I would not mind working my tail off for a coach like him. Rex Ryan was phenomenal. I love Raheem Morris, he’s so down to earth. It was also an honor to meet Lovie Smith.

If you’re throwing a party, what artist do you want to perform?
RM: Fabolous! I’m a big-time Fabolous fan. He’s my favorite rapper ever. I hope to meet him one day. If you have some connections, tell him Rahim Moore is a big fan. There’s not one song I don’t know.

Unfortunately, I don’t. But what’s up with the faux-hawk?
RM: When you’re a ball hawk, you should have a mohawk. Yes, that’s all mine.

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