Like most high school athletes in their senior year, Greg Moore II had dreams of continuing his promising football career at the collegiate level and the National Football League.
What he didn’t expect was the twists, turns that went with the triumphs that he would experience to get his shot at football.
During his senior year of high school, ACC and SEC schools recruited Moore.
Because he was a late qualifier, his best option was to accept the full scholarship to Mississippi Valley State University had presented.
He would never wear the forest green and white uniform of the Delta Devils though; the coaching staff had decided to give his scholarship to another player the summer before his freshman season. The coaching staff recommended he attend Georgia Military College, somewhere this 17-year-old had never even heard of.
“I no longer wanted to be affiliated with Valley. I called my dad and high school coach to figure something out because this will not work, because this guy just basically kicked me to the curb,” said Moore.
Moore realized his window of opportunity to play collegiate football was slowly closing.
After searching for somewhere he could immediately play and make a lasting impression, Moore enrolled at Mesabi Range Community and Technical College in Minnesota as a walk-on.
His presence was felt as he was able to help the Norse win the first conference championship in decades during his only season. Although this was a special moment for Moore, he couldn’t enjoy it.
Tragedy struck a week before the conference championship game with the death of his grandmother. “She was one of those people that I like to share things with and I couldn’t call her”, said Moore. After his one season at Mesabi Range Community and Technical College, Moore decided to return to Tennessee and enroll at Middle Tennessee State University.
After two unsuccessful attempts to walk-on MTSU’s football team, Moore was once again looking for a college to attend. Luckily for Moore, his dad and Lane College’s Derrick Burroughs had a mutual friend who introduced the idea of him playing for Lane. “Coming up in Memphis you really don’t think about going to Lane which is a shame because it’s right there but a lot of people here don’t think about attending Lane”, said Moore.
After a conversation with Coach Burroughs, Moore realized that to make his dreams happen it was now or never. Moore enrolled to play for the Lane College Dragons.
His last two years of eligibility at Lane turned out to be the start of a whirlwind of trials and tribulations. Working day in and day out to become a better athlete, Moore saw his stats increase and his potential to attend a NFL Training Camp increase also. On top of the excitement of going into his senior season at Lane, Moore received news that he was going to be a father.
His fiancée, Jamesia, was pregnant with the couple’s first child, a son. Moore finally realized that this is what college is supposed to feel like.
After his last season, Moore signed with Ali Siam of Siam Sports Management and began training with Nick Stampler of Solus Performance Training in Jackson, Tennessee in preparations for the Pro Day and Combine. The day he had been preparing for finally arrived, NFL Draft day.
“The final day of the draft, we were out to eat, my father, Jamesia and I, when I received a call. Everyone looked like is that the call?” Sure enough, it was a call from the Indianapolis Colts.
“I answered the phone and he was like ‘How would you like to catch passes from Andrew Luck'”, said Moore. This was a bittersweet moment for Moore and his fiancée. They realized this would mean they would have to be apart for a period of her pregnancy but he was finally following his dream.
Moore left for Indianapolis for Organized Team Activities and mini camp with high hopes of being a member of the 53 man roster.
“I was extremely happy that first day. That second day! That’s when I really learned about the business side of playing football,” said Moore. Not only was football just a sport any more, it would be his career. He would be required to eat, sleep and breathe Indianapolis Colts football if he wanted to gain a position on this NFL team.
“When you make it to the next level, it really becomes life”, said Moore. Unfortunately for Moore, he would be cut for the first time for the Colts.
“This wasn’t my first time experiencing heartache with football so really I just felt like it has happened before and I know how it felt; I know how I responded. It really wasn’t devastating but I was thinking to myself ‘Okay Greg what’s next, how we going to jump back from this’ because in this game you are going to be disappointed”, said Moore.
Moore returned home to Memphis and returned to training when once again his phone rang with a familiar voice on the other end telling him the Colts had just let a few men go and that they wanted another shot with him. Moore returned to Indianapolis the following morning to finish the last week of mini camp and to start Colts Training Camp. Once again, this meant that he would have to leave his pregnant fiancée once again.
“We knew that it was a possibility of me leaving again but it was also a possibility to better ourselves financially. It was really a no brainer”, said Moore. Moore was once again waived by the Colts one week before the first preseason game of the 2014 season.
As he was reliving the disappointment of being waived by an NFL team for the second time, he began getting calls from scouts out of the Canadian Football League.
The Ottawa Redblacks, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Montreal Alouettes and the Edmonton Eskimos were all in the hunt for Moore. Moore received a call from the Edmonton Eskimos the night his fiancée went into labor. The excitement of the possibility of playing professional football and the birth of their first child was overwhelming but was quickly overshadowed by something that neither one of them were expecting.
“We had been in labor for an extremely long time, way longer than what it was supposed to be. He was extremely big and he couldn’t come out naturally so we moved into the operation room for a c-section. When they brought him out, I don’t know, for some reason he would not breathe, open his eyes and cry. I literally watched my son die in the incubator,” said Moore.
Football for Moore was at a standstill. Neither he nor his fiancée were even thinking about the exciting news about the Edmonton Eskimos anymore. They needed to get past this heartache and try to piece their lives back together.
They weren’t thinking about anything but living at that moment; they had just lost their son, Greg Moore,III, now Jameseia was hospitalized with a high fever.
Moore knew that his football career would have to wait. “We had already lost a child, I wasn’t trying to lose her too,” said Moore.
Moore had to let the Eskimos know what his decision was. After discussing the events that had just accrued, he and the scout mutually agreed it would probably be best for him to stay home and be with his family.
All hope wasn’t lost. After a few months, he received a call from the Eskimos with an offer to play professionally with the Edmonton Eskimos. A second shot to do what he loves to do and that’s play football.
Moore is currently training in preparations for the 2015 CFL season. His eyes are still set on one day making it to the NFL. “I’m still trying to be the example for those around me, being who my family needs me to be, loving, training hard and patiently waiting until it’s my time once more.
“If you want to do it [sports] really focus in on doing it and try to accomplish what you want. If you do get into a camp do the best that you can because you ever know who is watching because at these camps CFL scouts are watching and if you don’t think the NFL is a possibility, go to some of these small camps and combines and show your stuff.”