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Joshua Moore's big day punctuates return to Texas football team

From tears of pain to tears of joy, it's been a long road back to football for Texas wide receiver Joshua Moore.

AUSTIN, Texas — After a year-and-a-half away from game action, Texas sophomore wide receiver Joshua Moore announced his return in emphatic fashion Saturday night.

Moore, who missed most of his freshman season with an injury and was suspended last season after an arrest and weapons charge, took the first play from scrimmage for a 78-yard touchdown.

He finished the day as the team's leading receiver, hauling in six catches for 127 yards.

"To be honest man, every game that I didn't play in last year I cried," Moore said. "Me being who I am, I love football, grew up around football. Coming here was my dream and just to know that I almost threw that away, it hurt me."

Moore's tears of pain from last year, however, turned into tears of joy from his family on Saturday night.

"You may not believe me when I say this, but when I scored, my mom and sister were sitting in the stands and they actually left the game to go to the restroom and they cried," he said. "I talked to my dad after the game. He told me once I scored, he cried. It was such a surreal feeling."

"Just to see the smile on their faces, I would definitely rather see the smile on their faces than the faces that they had last year," he added.

Moore was quick to credit Texas head coach Tom Herman for sticking with him and not kicking him off the team.

“Just being here sitting in front of you guys right now is a blessing to me because Coach Herman had the decision to throw me off the team, but he didn’t," he said. "He believed in me.”

After Saturday's career day for Moore, it's clear that belief was well-founded, and the relationship between the wide receiver and the head coach has blossomed because of it.

“We’ve built a relationship these past three or four years that I can honestly say I’ve never built with any other head coach," Moore said. "I definitely don’t regret coming here, I definitely don’t regret the day he started recruiting me. I thank him for the opportunity and just to be here with him, being coached by him every day, it means a lot. He showed me that he not only cared for me as a player but also as a human being.”

WATCH: Texas receiver Josh Moore discusses football hiatus

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