The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

March 24, 2014

HERTZEL COLUMN- Logan Moore is living a dream at quarterback

MORGANTOWN — I believe in fairy tales.

No, not that they really happen, at least as we know them.

Cinderella didn’t really ride in a pumpkin carriage and wear glass slippers. If she had, think of the blisters.

But Bill Mazeroski did hit a home run that won a World Series and Bethany Hamilton did go on to become a professional surfing champion after losing an arm to a shark and the Boston Red Sox actually did, after more than 80 years, shake off the curse of the Bambino to win a World Series.

Sports, you see, lends itself to such things on a daily basis. It is a land of heroes and villains, of haves and have nots, or princes and ogres.

There is playing out a fairy tale of a kind in West Virginia’s spring football camp, a story of the local kid trying to make good.

The odds he faces of lining up behind the seven behemoths who make up West Virginia’s offensive line as quarterback are almost as large as Snow White lining up behind an offensive line made up of the Seven Dwarfs and beating the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.

But Logan Moore, the kid from Fairmont Senior and Fairmont State, is back at quarterback at West Virginia and, like “The Little Engine That Could”, is going to practice every day repeating the mantra “I think I can, I think I can” or his version of it.

First of all, a bit of background is necessary here.

At Fairmont Senior he was the school’s all-time leading passer, throwing for 6,286 yards and 68 yards in his career including 2,572 yards and 31 of those touchdowns as he won NCAC Player of the Year and first-team All-State honors as a senior.

Standing just 5-foot-11 and falling short in few other areas that the major colleges require, he decided to remain at home at Fairmont State, where he did a repeat of his high school domination.

In fact, after two years he stood fourth in school history in passing yards with 3,546, third in career touchdowns with 31, fourth in total offense with 4,324 yards and was fifth in completions with 277.

He was on his way to rewriting the record book had he stayed, but to him that was more like writing an essay when he wanted to have a chance to be a novelist.

He decided to transfer to West Virginia and play quarterback under Dana Holgorsen and take his chances with playing time, knowing he’d wake up every morning to find someone’s been eating his porridge.

The first year he wasn’t eligible, so there really wasn’t much of a problem.

“When I first came in as a quarterback I was still ineligible so I wasn’t seeing as many reps. It was just doing individual work and watching Geno,” he said.

The next year, which was last year, they were trying to find a quarterback among three scholarship players – Clint Trickett, another local kid with big time connections having transferred from that other FSU, Florida State University; Paul Millard and Ford Childress.

They needed as many reps as they could get, so Holgorsen asked Moore to try wide receiver.

Disappointed, but a team guy from start to finish, he readily agreed and while hardly a physical fit for the position he got himself some playing time, appearing in 10 games, mostly on special teams but he did play 14 snaps against Kansas and 13 against Iowa State.

This past Christmas he got the present he wanted, Holgorsen calling him in and asking him if he would go back to quarterback. Childress had left the program, Trickett was recovering from shoulder surgery and only Millard was left among the experienced quarterbacks, along with a hotshot junior college transfer whom many thought might win the starting position.

Moore, if you know him, had invested all within him to learn to become a wide receiver, but he was more than willing to cash that investment in as a quarterback. To the coaches, he was another arm, another body to take reps.

To himself, he was competing for a job.

“Absolutely. That’s why I’m still playing. It’s my last year and I’m trying to get on the field. I’m doing everything the best I can,” he said.

“Quarterback is the position I played all my life. When he offered me the chance to come back and play quarterback, I was really excited. I was still learning a lot at receiver,” he said, before adding a sentence that summed everything up about the situation.

“This is home to me,” he said.

It wasn’t quite like getting back on a bike, this return to quarterback.

“I’m still picking up some little things in the offense,” Moore said.

“The hardest thing, though, is leading guys, being the focal point for the other 10 guys when they are looking to you to lead,” he continued. “At receiver, you didn’t have that. You were just one of those guys following the leader. It’s been a little bit of a challenge, but I’m getting back into it.”

The fairy tale, as you can see, has progressed from “Once upon a time there was a quarterback”.

The plot is being lived out and they won’t say “he lived happily ever” after until Logan Moore stands there on the turf at Milan Puskar Stadium and takes a snap as West Virginia’s quarterback.

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel

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