By Bob Hertzel
For the Times West Virginian
It hangs in the lobby of the Puskar Center, which is nerve center of the West Virginia University football program, and while it may not be the Heisman Trophy, it was all Logan Moore could ask out of his first season at the Division I school.
“Scout Team Player of the Year” it reads with a picture of him going through the motions.
Considering the odds he was bucking when he transferred from Fairmont State University, considering the situation he was in being a first-year quarterback playing behind a first-round draft choice in Geno Smith and a pair of highly recruited backups, Moore could take pride that he was able to make a contribution to the team and the season.
“Being put in that position last year, that was my only opportunity to show them what I could do,” he said.
Moore had opted out of Fairmont State after a pair of pretty solid years following an all-state career at quarterback at Fairmont Senior High. He left the school ranked third in school history in passing touchdowns with 31, fourth in passing yards with 3,546 and total yards with 4,324 while completing 277 passes, which ranked fifth.
His freshman season had been awesome, winning the West Virginia Conference Offensive Freshman of the Year, but his numbers slipped slightly his sophomore year when he was injured and missed a game.
However, even though the Falcons’ record had improved to 7-4, there was something lacking.
“I didn’t feel I would be the best player I could be at Fairmont State. I figured I’d see what happened,” he said Tuesday evening following practice.
To be perfectly honest, his chances of quarterbacking WVU are not particularly good. The two young players who were ahead of him last year — Paul Millard and Ford Childress — are currently splitting the snaps 50-50, and a third freshman, Chavas Rawlins, came in early and is No. 3.
In truth, the coaches have begun looking at Moore as a slot receiver, to which he offers no resistance.
“I told them when I transferred up here that I’d do anything to get on the field. Now that my opportunity has come, let it happen,” he said. “I’m getting reps at slot. I’m still in quarterback meetings. I don’t know if I’ll get the opportunity (at quarterback) or not.”
Opportunity is what he’s looking for, that chance that he earned a year ago when he spent a long season with no chance to play while mimicking the opponent’s quarterback and impressing the coaches with what he could do.
“It was a little rough,” he said of going against the first team on a daily basis. “We’re out there to make them better, so we got beat up a lot, but I think it helped me out a lot in the long run.”
Oh, there were bumps and bruises.
“Just football pains,” he called them. “I wasn’t playing in games, but I still had pain.”
The big problem was he wasn’t getting much of a chance to learn the WVU offensive schemes.
“In camp I had a chance to learn, but during the season I was doing more with the scout team and other team’s offenses,” he said. “But during bowl preparations I was back learning our offense again. I got a pretty good handle on it.”
And, as a quarterback, you not only have to know what you do, but have to know what the slot does, so that hasn’t been wasted time should he wind up there.
The big difference now is that he feels part of what’s going on whereas as a member of the scout team a year ago it was difficult to get that team feeling.
Moore has two years to work himself into the picture.
“If I keep working hard and improving on things, I think I’ll get a shot somewhere,” he said.
Email Bob Hertzel at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @bhertzel.