Ferry’s Moore on Florida State roster
The Florida State Seminoles last won the BCS National Championship in 2000 at the Nokia Sugar Bowl.
That night most in the Ohio Valley were actually rooting for Virginia Tech, which featured Bellaire High product Ben Taylor at linebacker.
However, in Martins Ferry, a 6-year old by the name of Dorsey Moore was rooting for his beloved Seminoles and dreaming of one day wearing the Seminoles’ uniform.
Fast forwarding to the present, Moore will once again be rooting for the Seminoles when they take on Auburn tonight in the BCS National Championship in Pasadena.
The Martins Ferry High graduate, however, will have a much better vantage point than he had 15 years ago.
Moore is a walk-on tight end for the Seminoles and will be on the sidelines, wearing jersey number 48.
“From the time I knew what football was, I always wanted to play for FSU and I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve been presented to do so,” Moore said. “The journey I took to get here just makes it that much sweeter. I never would have thought this could have happened to me.”
Moore wasn’t recruited by the Seminoles. Actually, he wasn’t heavily recruited at all after a strong prep career for the Purple Riders.
He made a decision to attend his dream school just as a student and just decided he was going to give football a try. Basically, it came down to the fact that the worse thing that could have happened for trying was being told ‘no.’
After going through tryouts, Moore earned a spot on the roster, actually as a quarterback. He saw reps in the spring game 2012 at that spot, but also seeing reps were guys by the names of E.J. Manuel and Jameis Winston.
Manuel was the starter last season and now plays for the Buffalo Bills. Winston won the job in camp this fall and basically the rest is history. He’s not only led the Seminoles to a 13-0 record, but he also won the Heisman Trophy last month.
“To go from being so lightly recruited to being a normal student at FSU to now being in a position to win a national championship ring is just amazing,” Moore said.
Just being on the squad isn’t good enough for Moore, who is extremely competitive. He would like to take the next step and eventually get on the field in some capacity, thus he knew a position change would be needed.
“I obviously knew how good Jameis and (Jacob) Coker were, so I started talking to a G.A. about a positon switch in the summer,” Moore said. “A week or two later, he called me and asked if I really would be willing to switch to tight end. It was best for the team, and for me, so I was all about it.”
Listed on the Seminoles roster at 6-4, 205, Moore has adjusted well and is continuing to work on his speed and getting bigger as he hopes to make a push in the spring for the 2014 season.
“I have two years of football eligibility left and one year until I get my degree in business, so I am focused on bulking up and trying to earn a spot on the depth chart,” Moore said. “I’ve become a pretty good receiver and my speed has improved tremendously since high school. It’s the blocking that I have a lot of room to improve on, and I think getting bigger is a big step toward that.”
The Seminoles have one of the nation’s top tight ends in Nick O’Leary, who is the grandson of Jack Nicklaus. He’s also been a big help to Moore.
“Nick is really hard-nosed and physical,” Moore said. “That’s the part of the game I’m trying to pick up on the most. He also prepares very well and makes few mistakes.”
The work for 2014 will begin soon enough, but right now and during the week in Southern California, the Seminoles are focused on closing out the 2013 season with a national championship. Moore has been working on the scout team to help the defense get as good of a look as possible at the Tigers’ running game.
“I don’t think Auburn really compares to anyone we’ve played this year,” Moore said. “They’re a great team. They run the ball exceptionally well and have a knack for making big plays in crunch time.”
The Seminoles opened the season ranked 11th in the Associated Press Poll, but no one basically outside of Tallahasse knew about what Winston had in store.
“I think the thoughts of us putting this type of season together have been around since the summer,” Moore said. “We knew the type of talent we had on the team and knew that a national championship was within our capability if we put the work in for it.”
The Seminoles opened the season in front of a national television audience on Labor Day with a 41-13 blasting of Pitt. The nation fully learned the Seminoles were for real when they went to Clemson and won, 51-14.
The Seminoles’ biggest hurdle of the season was actually off the field as a cloud of uncertainty hovered over Winston as allegations of a sexual assault surfaced. After an investigation, Winston was cleared of any wrong doings.
His teammates’ support never wavered.
“It wasn’t tough to stay focused because Jameis told the team we had nothing to worry about and nobody worried,” Moore said. “Jameis is a good, honest person.”
Moore has a picture of himself hoisting Winston’s Heisman Trophy into the air on his Facebook page.
“Jameis is very talented, but also very humble,” Moore said. “He’s exactly the same person who played scout team with me last year when he was redshirting.”
While Moore is totally focused on the Tigers tonight, he admitted he was a bit disappointed that Ohio State lost in the Big Ten Championship Game, which led to Auburn getting to the title game.
“I’ve always been an FSU fan and most of my friends from the valley are OSU fans, so I would have liked to see them make it, so we could finally see an FSU-OSU matchup,” Moore said. “That way, either me or my friends could finally have something to back up the years of trash talk.”
With the Buckeyes not in the mix, Moore has heard from many of his friends in the Buckeye State, who have said they’ll be rooting for the Seminoles tonight.
MOORE’S FATHER and brother made the trip to Pasadena for tonight’s game. Though it’s Moore’s first trip to California, he has an uncle and cousins in Southern California, who will also be in attendance tonight.
MOORE ISN’T the only area connection to the Seminoles. FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher was a college teammate of Union Local head coach Bruce Stiles at Salem College in West Virginia.
DURING some of the players’ free time this week, Moore and a few of his buddies had the opportunity to go surfing at Huntington Beach. Moore tweeted a picture of with the hashtag, “bucketlist.”
Staskey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org