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For Moore, it's been a long trip to the top

For Moore, it's been a long trip to the top

For Moore, it's been a long trip to the top

Brett Moore, right, clears a hole for...

    How does a guy who was a walk-on, backup long snapper — about as low as you can get on the totem pole — suddenly emerge as a starter?
    Just ask Brett Moore.
    That’s where he found himself last Saturday when Georgia Southern opened its season with a 48-3 win over Savannah State as he anchored the Eagle line at right tackle.
    And, that’s where he will be on Saturday when the Eagles play at Navy at 3:30 p.m. at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium.
    Since playing his final year of high school football at Northside Warner Robins High School in 2006 when the WRHS Eagles went 15-0 and won a GHSA Class AAAA state championship the 6-foot-3, 252 pound Moore had faded into oblivion.
    Moore was a starter on the Warner Robins team that dropped a 13-10 decision to Statesboro in the 2005 Class AAAA state title game.
    Prior to the Savannah State game, Moore had taken only three snaps in a college game and those came last year — one play on a goal line stand at Samford and two field goal attempts against The Citadel.
    Following high school ,Moore went to Tuskegee to play football, but returned home after pre-season camp. He got a job and attended Georgia Military College-Warner Robins. Upon earning an associate’s degree in December 2008 Moore transferred to Georgia Southern where he is an information systems major.
    Although a senior academically Moore has two years eligibility remaining because he did not play football his first two years of college.
    “I walked on in February 2009, as a long snapper,” said Moore of his GSU career. “That’s the only position I had played here until this spring.”
    That’s where he would have been this fall had not a coaching change taken place. There was no place in the lineup for 230 pound tackles in former Coach Chris Hatcher’s offense.
    After their hiring, head coach Jeff Monken and offensive coordinator Brent Davis, who also coaches the offensive line, quickly discovered there was a dire shortage of offensive linemen.
    “Two of our student coaches, Nate Baker and Chris Couch, told me I needed to talk to this guy, that he had been a good scout team player,” said Davis, recalling how he learned about Moore.
    The questions were short and simple.
    “I asked him how much he weighed and if he had ever played on the offensive line,” Davis said. “He said 230, and yes. I told him that was big enough for us, and when we started spring practice we had him on the offensive line.”
    Moore quickly proved to be a find.
    “We didn’t know what we had until the first day of practice,” Davis said. “He had some ability and could move things. After the third day of practice we moved him up to first team..
    “He’s one of the hardest working and most coachable kids I’ve ever been around. He’s exceptionally smart as a football player and can make calls for the entire line which is unusual for a tackle. He’s a different player than he was in the spring, and he’s got a chance to be really good.”
    Moore came into pre-season camp as the starting left tackle, but was moved to right tackle with the arrival of freshman Dorian Byrd who is now the starting left tackle.
    “It’s strange, but it’s awesome,” Moore said. “I was a total unknown. I’m just appreciative of the coaches for giving me a chance.
    “I don’t know what they saw in me. Maybe it was my size,” Moore said. “I was big enough for them to take a chance on me.”
    However, Moore, who gained 20 pounds this summer, said the triple option offense is a big reason why he and the 246 pound Byrd won’t be overmatched.
    “You don’t have to be bigger for the triple option,” Moore said. “We have to be able to get up on the linebackers and be able to bend and move. It’s an offense that fits me.”

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