A Time to Celebrate

What were you doing on December 1st at 7:46 pm? Daniel Moore knows exactly what he was doing. "I was watching the Kansas/Missouri game at my apartment and my cell phone rang," Daniel Moore told Badger Nation…

"I knew it wasn't Coach (Randal) McCray because I know his cell phone number but it was a 608 area code. So I answered my phone and it was Coach (Bret) Bielema and he offered me a scholarship.

"After I got off the phone, I just started jumping up and down screaming. I was so hyped up I actually started sweating. The worst part about it was that I was by myself and I didn't have anyone to share this great news with.

"I immediately called my mother back home and gave her the good news. I told her that my dream has come true. I'm going to be a Badger. To tell you the truth, I still haven't been able to sleep much since that day."

Daniel Moore is a great story. Why? Because every high school prospect who has ever been told he's not good enough to play major D-1 football needs to talk to Mr. Moore.

"I played my high school football at O'Fallon High School near St. Louis," Moore said.

"I received a scholarship offer from Eastern Illinois and I jumped on that but I decided that after my freshman year at Eastern that I wanted something more.

"I don't mean to sound cocky but things were too easy for me at Eastern Illinois. I knew I could play at a higher level."

Moore spoke with the Eastern Illinois coaches about transferring but they weren't very accepting of the idea.

"The coaches at Eastern Illinois told me that if I left the team that I would never play college football again." Moore said.

"One coach at Eastern told me he wanted to call me in two years to see what I was doing because he knew that I wouldn't be playing ball.

"To be honest, my family and friends didn't want me to leave Eastern Illinois either. I was getting a free education and nobody really wanted me to leave butI knew that I had to follow my heart."

Moore did leave Eastern Illinois to chase his dream and he landed on the doorstep of Tom Minnick and Joliet Junior College.

"I was actually going to walk on at Missouri," he said. "I had a talk with Coach Minnick here at JJC and he told me that they had a great program and they place kids in good programs.

"I was sold on Joliet Junior College. I called my mom and told here that I was going to Joliet and I wouldn't be home until I accomplished my goal."

The goal for Daniel Moore was receiving and signing a letter of intent to play at a major D-1 football program. Is he ready to go home?

"Oh yea," he said. "I have one more final and I plan on going home before I have to get up to Madison. I can't wait to see my family. My dream has come true and now I can go home."

Moore was being recruited by Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Louisville before deciding on Wisconsin.

"Coach McCray has been great," Moore said. "I actually visited Wisconsin last summer and the coaches were great to me. They told me everything that I needed to do in the classroom if I wanted to be a Badger.

"My official visit was wonderful. I might be a little older than the other guys but that was my first ever real official visit at a big-time program. Everything was wonderful, I just can't explain the feeling.

"I've never been to a game at Wisconsin but I've watched them on television. I'm telling you right now that I can't wait until I come down that tunnel for my first game. It's going to be intense.

"I saw the Michigan game this year and it was amazing. Wisconsin just doesn't lose at Camp Randall. That's what it's all about; Protecting your own house.

"You can just see on television what a great atmosphere they have at Camp Randall and that's what I can't wait to experience."

Badger assistant coach Randal McCray not only recruited Moore but he'll also work closely with him on the defensive line.

"Coach McCray is not only a great coach but he's a great person." Moore said. "I was actually sitting down with him this past weekend talking about life situations and he has really helped me out.

"Having said that, you also want a coach who's going to get after you on the field and make you a better player.

"I know Coach McCray is the perfect coach for me to be around because he cares about you as a person and as a player.

"Coach McCray and Coach Bielema are going to put me in the best situation to be a great person and a great football player. I know I'll be prepared for life when I leave Wisconsin."

Moore has two years of eligibility left once he arrives in Madison. We asked Daniel what his goals were for next season.

"I was told that I'll have the opportunity to compete right away for a starting job." He said. "You don't know how good that makes me feel. The fact that I could actually be lining up next to Matt Shaugnessy is just incredible.

"I have to get up to Madison after Christmas and start working hard. I need to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity that I've been given.

"To be completely honest, my goal is to play in the league (NFL) but what I'll be most proud of is getting my degree from the University of Wisconsin. Nobody will ever be able to take that away from me."

Badger fans have to be excited about Daniel Moore. He's a hard-working, blue-collar football player, who loves football, respects the game, his coaches, and he considers it an honor to play for Wisconsin and to receive an education from the University.

Moore will be in Madison on January 14th but first he'll enjoy the holidays with his family. Daniel hasn't been home since July.

"I can't wait to see my mom," he said. It's going to be very emotional for sure. I told her I wasn't leaving Joliet until I got my scholarship and now it's time to celebrate. This has all been a dream come true."

Badger Nation Top Stories