You've Got To Get Up Early In The Moore...ning
Nov. 17, 2000
High School: St. Petersburg Catholic HS
Major: Public Policy
They say the early bird gets the worm. For Stanford sophomore fullback CaseyMoore, it couldn't be more true. Upon first look, the sleepy-eyed,slow-talking and easy-going Moore seems to fit the bill as a laid-backFloridian. By his own admission, he claims to love sleep and rest.
Moore was enjoying a relaxing summer in Florida prior to his freshman yearof high school in 1994. He had played football in the seventh grade butafter being 'stuck at left guard or something' his interest in high schoolfootball was pretty low. He did have a couple of cousins going into theirsenior year and playing football at St. Petersburg Catholic High School.However, Casey was much more into basketball and baseball ... and sleep ... thatsummer.
That all began to change during a summer basketball camp. One of the coachesat the camp was also the junior varsity football coach at the high schoolCasey would soon be entering. He began to develop an interest in havingCasey join the football team.
Moore was intrigued with the possibility of playing football, but there wasone big problem. Practice started at 8:00 a.m. And for a young teenagerenjoying his summer in Florida, that was indeed a bit of a problem.
Still, the coach decided to call. Practice started and Casey continued toenjoy his early-morning sleep. The coach called again, but still Caseydecided that sleep might be a bit more fun than his memories of 'being stuckat left guard or something.'
However, after missing the first week of practice, he changed his mind. Fouryears later, he became a Division I collegiate football player at Stanford.
A lot took place in the transition from sleepy mornings to intense DivisionI football at Stanford. Although Moore was not heavily recruited in highschool, he caught the eye of Phil Zacharias when the Cardinal assistant wason a recruiting trip in nearby Orlando to watch another potential fullback.
|Has been Stanford's starting fullback for thelast 20 consecutive games ... Has the longest run in the history of the BigGame, taking off for a 94-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter of the 1999contest versus California (11/20/99) as he finished with 116 yards on sixcarries ... Ranks third on the team this season with 208 yards on 46 carriesand is averaging a team-high 4.5 yards per rush ... Has scored four careerrushing touchdowns ... Also has a career total of 18 catches for 199 yards andtwo touchdowns ... Finished the 1999 campaign with 190 yard rushing on 23carries for an average of 8.3 yards per rush.|
Casey gives high school coach Dan Mancuso much of the credit for getting himnoticed.
'He works really hard,' says Moore about his prep coach who took over thehead coaching reigns at St. Petersburg Catholic during Casey's sophomoreyear. 'Anybody that wants to play in college, he'll try to find a spot foryou. He pushes all the players really hard to recruiters.'
The word Mancuso spread about Casey's abilities got to Orlando and Zachariasdecided to have a look. He liked what he saw and by the time the followingyear rolled around Casey found himself in a Cardinal uniform. His freshmanseason was spent as a redshirt, like most first-year players under Stanfordhead coach Tyrone Willingham.
However, Casey would soon be noticed. By the third game of his redshirtfreshman season, he became the team's starter at fullback. The rest, as theysay, is history. Moore has never relinquished his starting spot as he hasanswered the bell in 20 consecutive games for the Cardinal and shows nosigns of letting go.
It takes a special person to be a fullback. Moore spent most of last seasonleading the way as a blocking back for the likes of halfbacks Brian Allenand Kerry Carter, picking up just 23 carries along the way. However, one ofthose 23 carries was perhaps one of the most memorable in Stanford history.
Backed up on its own six-yard line and holding a precarious 21-13 early inthe fourth quarter of last year's Big Game versus California, the Cardinalcalled Moore's number on a quick hitting play that was primarily designed tohelp the Cardinal out of its deep hole. Moore hit the hole quickly and justkept going, 94 yards later Moore had the longest run in Big Game history andthe second longest run ever by a Cardinal running back. Stanford had a 28-13lead and sealed its first trip to the Rose Bowl since 1971.
'You wonder if anybody will break it,' says Moore about the 94-yarder. 'It'spretty cool. As a fullback, you don't expect to hold too many records.'
Still, Moore takes much more pride in his blocking than his running.
'You have to like blocking,' says Moore about the mentality of a fullback.'You have to like going out there and banging heads with people. It's greatwhen you can make a good block and then you see the halfback running downthe field. That run last year was just one play out of the whole game. Ourfirst job is to be a blocking back. In order to have a good game, you haveto have a decent game blocking. That's the first thing I think about. Theruns and the catches are just an added bonus.'
The fact that Moore is even playing collegiate football at all has been abonus for him.
'I love it,' states Moore about the game. 'It's definitely a part of who Iam. I think it's a great sport for life in general. There is so many ups anddowns, so much hard work. It is so tied to everything you do. Footballreally teaches you a lot about how to preserve and be strong.'
Football also makes you get up in the morning. Even six years after thosephone calls by his high school junior varsity coach, the early morningwakeup calls are not over.
Stanford head coach Tyrone Willingham doesn't mind putting the Cardinalthrough an early morning workout here and there. However, this time it doesn't start at 8:00 a.m. In fact, the Cardinal is usually almost done by thattime after starting off-season conditioning workouts on Saturdays at 6:30 inthe morning.
'And that's supposed to be our off-season,' says Moore.
by Kyle McRae
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