Tomorrow around 5pm, Boise State will recognize the accomplishments of Kellen Moore—the winningest QB in college football history and one of the most unassuming superstars in my memory. From his recruitment all the way through his first full year as a starter, we just didn't know what we had in Kellen Moore. He was an overachiever...a tireless student of the game...but the greatest of all time? Pffft. Not that kid with the $2 haircut and demeanor of an accountant. But that's exactly what Kellen Moore turned out to be, and really was all along, it was just hard to see through all his praise-deflection and "gee whiz" public persona. Sending Kellen Moore into a game seemed akin to sending a teddy bear into a game...a teddy bear on roller skates—and then watching the teddy bear tear the opponents limb from limb for two/two-and-a-half quarters before the bear handlers decided they'd had enough.
While reminiscing about Moore's nigh-unbelievable Bronco career, I stumbled across one of the first articles I ever wrote about him...back when Moore was just another QB vying for playing time and I was slumming on blogspot. Here's an excerpt:
If you follow internet chatter...especially of the Bronco variety, you've no doubt heard of the miraculous spring scrimmage of Kellen Moore. No, Moore didn't turn water into Gatorade or heal a leper (although could've performed the Heimlich maneuver on a few other Bronco QBs who 'choked') and hey, it was only the FIRST scrimmage of the spring, but many Bronco fans are calling Moore's 10-14 2 TD day a miracle. The miracle lies in the fact that Moore, who is a redshirt freshman, looked to have a better grasp of the Bronco playbook than a sophomore, junior and 5th-year senior.
Keep in mind that a week prior—impressed with his "measurables"—I'd anointed Mike Coughlin the next Bronco signal-caller. Kellen never had the measurables (still doesn't, matter of fact) because you can't really measure football IQ, heart or determination...or you can, but people won't care. It's safe to say that no one had any idea—except maybe Kellen himself—that Boise State had perhaps lucked into possession of a once-in-a-lifetime QB. A QB that altered the face of the Bronco program at a time when Boise State's run of success was widely dismissed as "flukey" or impossible to maintain. Frankly, I wish I'd realized sooner just what we had in Kellen Moore...I'd have watched closer. But I'll be watching closely tomorrow as Moore is honored and his jersey experiences a "soft retirement". Boise State will have more good QBs, even ones that might have more "upside" to an NFL GM, but there will never ever be another Kellen Moore.
Football history is chock full of stats—they are kind of a good way to you know...measure things. And Kellen posted plenty of them throughout his career—50 wins, 14,667 passing yards, 142 touchdowns, -133 rushing yards...the list goes on. The only number that comes to mind when I think of Kellen Moore, however, is the number 1...and Kellen was so good he was number one twice.