Nick Moore led the Toledo Rockets in receptions as a senior in 2008 with 78 catches for 779 yards and one touchdown. He had 182 receptions for 2045 yards and 13 touchdowns in his career at Toledo, ranking him as one of the best receivers in Rocket history.
However, he may be best remembered for his performance in one of the biggest victories in school history. This past season he broke a school record, as well as a Michigan Stadium record with 20 receptions in a 13-10 victory over the Michigan Wolverines. Moore had 20 receptions for 162 yards in the game, and caught some big 3rd down conversions to keep drives alive in the game.
Rocket Digest recently caught up with Nick to see how things are going as he prepares for what he hopes will be a career in the NFL.
"Since January 3rd I've been in New Jersey working on speed, the forty, short shuttle, all the different tests you would be graded on at the combine and pro days," Nick told Rocket Digest in a phone interview.
Since January, Nick has been literally living out of a suitcase in hotels. Near the end of January he participated in the Texas vs the Nation All-Star game in El Paso, TX. He also worked out with Ricky Proehl for 8 days, working on his receiver skills, and then headed back to New Jersey to workout.
"The Texas vs the Nation game was a good atmosphere," Moore said. "There were people everywhere. It was really serious that week. We were at it from 7:30am until 11:30pm everyday with practice, team meetings, and interviews with NFL scouts."
In New Jersey, Nick had some adjusting to do when he first arrived. "It was different. I was out of town, but I got to know the guys quick. We've been working out two times a day, whereas at Toledo we would workout once either in the morning and go to classes in the evening or do classes in the morning and workout in the evening. Here we workout at 8am for a couple of hours, then I get some lunch, and then we workout again for a couple of hours. In the evening I am taking online classes."
Nick is taking 15 credit hours online through Toledo's online courses. Once those classes are done in May, he will graduate with a bachelor's degree in Sports Management.
On the NFL front, Nick says he has talked to several teams and has either filled out questionnares that they sent to him, or done face to face interviews with at least 15 NFL teams. Some he mentioned were the Raiders, Texans, Rams, Vikings, Browns, Seahawks, and 49ers.
With having a brother that is already in the NFL in Lance Moore with the New Orleans Saints, Nick has the advantage of gaining insight on how the NFL works through him. "I talk to my brother everyday," Nick said. "Right now there's not a lot of pointers he can give me because it is all about going out there and working hard. He would give me pointers during the season though."
I asked Nick about what motivates him. "Everyone has always been telling me I had to fill my brother's shoes and live up to his legacy. My motivation is to build my own legacy."
And right on with that motivation, even though Nick admits that he looks up to his brother and looks to him for help when they workout together in the offseason, he is quick to say that he does not pattern his game around his brother or anyone else. He instead works to be the best he can be.
We talked a little bit about his time at Toledo. "It was a great experience," Nick said of his five years as a Rocket. "Being able to redshirt my freshman year and take in from the leaders we had was great. Bruce Gradkowski, Trinity, and my brother were great leaders. Being on a MAC Championship team and going to a bowl game was a great experience for me."
And even though Nick did not play under the new coaching staff, he has talked to head coach Tim Beckman. "I talked to Coach Beckman during Christmas break. He called me and said he had a gift for me. It arrived a couple of days later and it was a helmet sticker and a shirt signed by Lee Corso, Mike Tirico, and the guys from ESPN from the Michigan Game, congratulating me on my accomplishment in the game. That was a really nice thing from a guy that I didn't even know. It was really something that he would reach out to me as an alumni like that.
Nick did have a message for both the Rocket fans and his Rocket teammates. "To the fans I want to say that Toledo has a good new coaching staff and I am hopeful they will get them back to the top of the MAC really soon. To my teammates just keep working hard and have trust in your coaches."