Late Friday afternoon, your Stanford Football team conducted its final practice of the preseason before the Saturday night opener against San Jose State. Afterward, the entire roster showered, changed and loaded up on buses to head to the team hotel in San Mateo for dinner and meetings that night. But as the team convened Friday evening for their last night of preparation before the season kicked off, a 6'7" freshman was conspicuously absent.
That's because freshman receiver Evan Moore was conducting late meeting with the Stanford Basketball coaches to arrange an eleventh hour change of plans for his first year on The Farm. Earlier this week we reported on Moore's decisive resolve to redshirt in football and turn his focus almost completely toward basketball come the start of that preseason in October.
"I came here to play both sports and to play them effectively," he told The Bootleg. The main reason for his decision was how far behind he would put himself in basketball by joining the team in December or January, after the conclusion of the football season. But as his burning desire to get on the gridiron scorched Cardinal holes in his soul, Moore reopened the issue with the coaches.
"Coach Teevens, being the persistent man that he is," Moore grins and begins, "kept trying to talk with Coach Montgomery about possibilities and solutions. At some point I was told that I had the power to control my schedule during the fall. It would be up to me to get to basketball practices on off days; I could make it work with my initiative. I could join the shoot-arounds and walk-throughs. The basketball coaches didn't say it would be impossible for me to do this, so I'm going to do it. That's what I wanted to hear, that making this work was something under my control."
"There will be enough opportunities for me to get integrated with the basketball team this fall," he professes. "The basketball coaches support my desire and opportunity to play football."
Very few observers at last night's game even noticed that Moore participated in the San Jose State game, which (barring early injury) burned his redshirt for football. He was on the field for two pass plays and three running plays; he never touched the football or had it thrown near him. That might seem like a bad way to burn a kid's redshirt, but Moore was behind in game preparation after running with the scout team for the last week.
"I hadn't even worked out with our offense this week, so I couldn't expect to do much last night," he explains. "But that's OK. We have a bye week this week, which means I have two weeks back to practice with the offense and get fully integrated again. I'll be ready to catch balls for the BYU game."
Evan Moore's reversal of plans now brings the number of true freshman playing this year to six, which is the most played by any Stanford team since Bill Walsh's second stint on The Farm in the early 1990's.
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