By Azia Branson—
It started out like any other warm October morning — hitting the snooze button too many times, rushing to morning workout, showering off the blood, sweat and tears and enjoying a cold bottle of water on the way to Central Elementary School.
The day went on, teaching kids to read, write and do multiplication while hoping their attention spans would last until recess. After school, he headed back to practice to work harder. It wasn’t until after a routine meeting with other the defensive backs that senior Charles Moore realized the day was far from ordinary.
Just after the meeting, Coach Cary Fowler called Moore into his office for an announcement that would change his career path. Moore learned he was named a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete. Moore is one of 17 finalists in all divisions across the nation.
“In the summer, Coach Fowler nominated me for this award and we filled out all the paperwork,” Moore recalled. “As the season went on, I kind of forgot about and just assumed I didn’t win.”
As a finalist, he will receive an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. The recipient of the William V. Campbell Trophy will receive an additional $7,000 scholarship.
“He’s a dream player. Not only is he a great football player, he’s a great student and better man,” Fowler said about Moore.
In his final season with the Texans, Moore was able to lead the Lone Star Conference in interceptions, with five. But his talent on the field is not what makes Moore the person he is, Fowler said.
“He’s a tremendous kid and an incredible leader on and off the field,” the coach added.
Charles’ teammate, roommate and brother, Brandon Moore, loves playing and living life alongside his brother at Tarleton. “I’m very fortunate,” Brandon said. “I don’t take it for granted that I get to see him every day. We have our arguments and ups and downs but overall, I love him and I know that he loves me and it’s been a great ride.”
Brandon will be a senior for the Texans for the 2015 season where he hopes to accomplish great things on and off the field as well. Charles said about being a big brother to Brandon, “I want to be able to be a good role model. I don’t want him to have another favorite player.”
Anyone who has ever had a conversation with Charles can tell that he’s a different kind of athlete. He says he gets it from his dad.
“When I was younger, we would go anywhere and people always know my dad,” Charles recalled. “I always liked the way people looked at my dad and the way he looked at them. There was always a lot of generosity and kindness and love into it and I take that from him. I just enjoy people.”
Fowler mentioned Charles racked up over 2,000 community service hours, quite a feat for someone with a 3.9 GPA and who starts on the football team.
Charles explained how he is able to balance, school, football and community service: “As a team we’ve always done really well. At the end of the season last year we won an award for the team with the most community service hours. It’s really a testament to our coaches and I’m always someone who likes to jump on those opportunities because it’s always been about giving back and I enjoy the relationships I’ve been able to build. It’s just fun for me to do.”
Charles will travel to New York for the 25th anniversary celebration of the Trophy. The winner will be announced on Dec. 9 at the 57th National Football Foundation Awards dinner.
As he may not admit in a full locker-room, Charles is a momma’s boy. On traveling to New York for the first time, Charles said, “It’s not that big of a deal to me. When I found out, the first thing I thought of was my mom because not too long ago she said the one place she wants to go is New York and it’s just crazy how those things happen. She’s going to go with me.”
When preparing to travel to New York, Charles mentioned that he has to prepare a speech in the case that he is named the winner. Charles has had many influential people in his life that he plans to thank in that speech. One of those special people is his former middle school and high school football coach, Tyrone Larkins.
“I’m not sure I’d be here without him. He was like a second father to me,” Charles said. “He reached out to us, past football. He stayed on us about our grades and acting right in class. He worked far and beyond to get me where I’m at now and to be a college athlete at Tarleton. He showed me a lot of love and he cared about me more as a person than as a football player. I hope I am able to do that as well and that’s why I went the teacher education route.”
Charles said he would definitely thank his mom first in his speech if he got the opportunity.
“None of this would be possible without her. She did a great job and not under the best of circumstances,” Charles said. “She’s raised three fine kids. She’s done amazing and I definitely made it hard on her growing up. Having to raise boys into men… that was something special. I’m glad I’m about to do these things because all I’ve ever wanted to do my whole life was make her proud. I always saw how hard she had to work and I wanted to make it easier for her. At the end of the day, if there’s anything I can do to make her proud, it’s worth it.”
Charles is set to graduate Dec. 13, just one week after returning from New York. Originally, he wanted to coach high school but since playing in college, he is looking into coaching at the collegiate level as well. Thanks to the motivation from his parents always pushing him to do his best and the Scholar-Athlete award scholarship, Charles plans to begin graduate classes in the spring, but has not decided what university he will attend.
From his own words and the words of his strength and conditioning coach, Charles says he would tell kids trying to become college athletes, “If you have a dream, chase it no matter what anyone else says. To those kids who are gifted, don’t forget how blessed you are to be able to do the things you are able to do.”
Brandon said that for the people who don’t know Charles, “Whenever he walks into a room, people tend to gravitate toward him just because of his character and the habits our parents have instilled in the both of us. It kind of shocks people. People admire the balance that he has and it’s a testament to our parents and how they raised us on and off the field. Sometimes I’ll catch myself looking at him and saying, yup—that’s my big brother.”