Keeping the Faith

With Emmanuel Moody, the Florida Gators don't just have an ultra-talented runner coming out of the backfield, but they also have someone who brings a spiritual element to the team and helps to keep the team grounded.

Emmanuel Moody is a 6-0, 210-pound running back who has the ability to avoid tackles. How he fits into the Florida offense is still undetermined, but as a freshman at USC, Moody carried 79 times for 459 yards and two touchdowns. Had he put up those numbers for the Gators in 2007, it would have been good enough to make him the third most productive back on the team behind Percy Harvin and Kestahn Moore.

But Moody goes deeper than just the raw talent he shows off on the football field. After school, he wants to be a minister, and he puts a lot of his success and the talent he possess in the hands of a higher power.

"I've been feeling good," Moody said. "I feel a lot more comfortable with the offense. It's really been Jesus, I've been focusing on him. He's been giving me the extra strength to go harder every day."

Tim Tebow's missionary work is well documented, and he's said that he plays football so he can use his stardom and the game to advance his mission. For now, Moody may not be using the game to advocate his beliefs, but he makes it known that his faith is a big part of his play.

"A lot more confidence is coming," he said. "It's all faith-centered. That's the reason why I play and the reason why I'm doing well."

Moody's deep faith helped not only him get through last year's difficult season when he had to watch from the sidelines after transferring from the Trojans, but he also helped his teammate Mon Williams after Williams was sidelined with a knee injury. It's guys like Moody that have helped improve the chemistry on this year's Gator roster.

"This team is really gelling together," he said. "The camaraderie on the team is the best I've seen."

As for himself, Moody is not concerned with personal goals, he just wants the team to do well.

"My goals are to just go hard every play and set and example and be a leader by example," Moody said. "I don't set goals for yards. I just try to contribute and play my role on the team."

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Chris Chmielenski


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