Ferry’s Moore attempting to walk on at FSU
Dorsey Moore is chasing his dream.
And he’s not planning on letting anyone or anything get in his way.
The 2011 Martins Ferry High School graduate is taking part in spring football practice – as a walk-on quarterback – at Florida State.
Yes, that Florida State!
“I grew up a Florida State fan,” Moore, who lived in Florida until the summer heading into his ninth grade year, said during a phone interview from his dorm in Tallahasse late last week.
Moore had a solid senior season for Coach Dave Bruney and the Purple Riders, but didn’t draw major Division I looks. He applied at numerous schools throughout the tri-state area, but he also sent an application to Florida State just as a back-up plan.
“In the back of mind, I had thought about trying to walk on last year, but I never thought I had a chance, so I didn’t pursue it any further,” Moore said.
A standout in the classroom, Moore was accepted to FSU as an undergrad and after much thought and debate, decided to pursue his dream and head to Tallahasse. His father still resides in the Sunshine State, meaning he qualified for in-state tuition, which helped ease the burden and decision.
After enrolling and settling in, Moore did what most undergrads at a major university do. He attended Seminoles’ football games and was an ultimate fan. However, he sat in the crowd with his dream in the back of his mind.
“Going to the games in the fall, reminded me how much I missed football,” Moore said. “And my dad had been pushing me and encouraging me to give it a shot, so I decided to give it a shot.”
Shortly after arriving at his decision to attempt to walk on, Moore headed for the FSU football offices on campus.
“I went in and talked to the football secretary and told her I wanted to try to walk on,” Moore said.
Since it was early in the winter semester, most of the Seminoles’ coaches were on the road recruiting, so Moore was instructed to return to the football office after National Signing Day, which was Feb. 1.
“I went back the very next day I could, and talked to Coach (D.J.) Eliot, who is the walk-on and defensive ends coach,” Moore said.
Moore was required to fill out plenty of paperwork and asked to submit a highlight tape. He put together a 90-second video on Youtube on his own computer, emailed to the football staff and then played the waiting game.
“About a week later, the football secretary called me and asked me to come back to the football office,” Moore said.
At that point, Eliot informed Moore that he would be able to walk on to the Seminoles. He was just one of five student-athletes accepted by the Seminoles and the only quarterback of the group.
“It was an indescribable feeling,” Moore said. “I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high. Honestly, I thought they were going to say thanks for the time. But, when they told me I was able to walk-on, I had all sorts of things flying through my head, but I didn’t want to get too excited right then.”
After receiving the news, Moore had to undergo an extensive physical and orthopedic examination by the Seminoles’ medical staff. He also had to fill out a variety of NCAA compliance forms and re-submit academic information to the NCAA Clearinghouse.
By the time all of the paperwork was sorted and approved, spring break had arrived. The first Monday back on campus, Moore officially joined the Seminoles’ program.
“It was March 12,” Moore said. “That day I started the winter conditioning program and then the very next week was the start of spring practice.”
Once joining the team, Moore had to keep in mind that he was a player and not a fan as he saw guys he’d just been rooting like crazy for in the fall in the meeting and lockerrooms.
“As a student, you kind of look at the football players as celebrities,” Moore said. “Once you get in there, though, you realzie they’re just normal guys.”
Moore’s first day in the facility as a member of the program brought back almost the same level of excitement as the day when he was informed he’d be able to join the squad.
“When I saw my locker and put on my practice clothes for the first time that feeling came back, but I realized quickly that it was time to get focused and do what you have to do,” Moore admitted.
Moore indicated that all of the players have been welcoming and very accepting of him thus far.
“We’re all there with the same passion,” Moore said. “I think the guys who’ve walked on already are even more accepting because they’ve been down that path and done what you’re trying to do.”
According to Moore, who’s wearing number 16 this spring, he’s one of six quarterbacks in the meeting room. Half are scholarship quarterbacks.
“I’ve been at practice every day, but obviously the scholarship guys get the brunt of the reps,” Moore said. “I’ve been taking mental reps, though. I’m watching and learning a lot. It’s a pretty complexed offense.”
The Seminoles’ spring game is slated for Saturday and what the future holds, Moore’s not sure. But, regardless, his approach isn’t changing.
“I am going to stick around and do whatever they tell me,” Moore said. “They’ve not said what’s going to happen when fall camp rolls around, but we’ll find that soon enough. I am just studying my playbook and working as hard as I can.”
In the classroom, Moore is doing quite well. He’s a sports management major, but indicated he’s switching to business management.