Moses gets late present
The holidays are long gone, but let’s take a survey: What was your best Christmas present?
Chances are, it would be tough to top the one former Bishop Guertin High School quarterback Hayden Moses received.
If you’re a local high school football fan, you know Moses’ story by now. He tore his ACL in a preseason scrimmage, ending his senior season in which he was expected to see the bulk of time as the Cards quarterback, before it even began. Then there was the nice gesture of letting him suit up one last time and take the final snap of their last game, a month or two after surgery. Taking a knee was never more memorable.
Fast forward to last Monday night, or actually early Tuesday morning, when
there it was, a photo making the rounds on the internet/social media of Moses, posing with the cigar smoking LSU quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow, probably about an hour after Burrow and the Tigers had just defeated Clemson 42-25 for the national title in the Louisiana SuperDome.
The Big Game in the Big Easy, and right in the middle of the hoopla was a Bishop Guertin kid who certainly identified with Burrow’s story of perseverance.
How’d this all happen?
The tickets to the National Championship Game were under the Christmas tree, a gift from his father, Santa Brian Moses, and the two flew down to New Orleans on Monday.
And there they were, in the SuperDome to see LSU and Clemson square off for all the 2019 season major college football marbles.
OK, that’s pretty cool in itself. But then get this: Brian Moses had a friend in a high place, one who was able to get the two of them into the postgame press conferences and also locker room access.
Heck, yours truly has always had to fill out forms in triplicate to the NFL for the Super Bowl to get that.
For young Hayden Moses, it was the experience of a lifetime.
“It was pretty cool to listen to (Clemson QB) Trevor Lawrence, (Clemson coach)Dabo Sweeney Coach O (LSU coach Ed Orgeron) and Joe,” Moses said. ” They’re both amazing quarterbacks. I realized that when we were watching the game, whoever we were watching, we were watching some of the best quarterbacks in the country. It was kind of like an NFL game out there, the speed of the game, the accuracy of the quarterbacks, the receivers. Everything was so fast paced, it was pretty great to watch.”
Moses listed to both QBs talk afterward, and was especially impressed with Lawrence, who had never lost a college game before. “He owned up to his mistakes, said how he wasn’t accurate and it wasn’t his night, and was very congratulatory to LSU.”
“It was good to see how they kind of reacted to the loss.”
Moses, who is still trying to map out his education and football futures, clearly identified with Burrow.
“It was good to hear Joe,” he said. “His story, wanting to go to a school, they didn’t want him; going to a school (Ohio State), then transferring, his whole story of winning the Heisman and winning the national championship. How he was speechless. It was pretty cool to see.
“It was the biggest game of those guys’ careers … the college football National Championship is one of the biggest stages of them all.”
And there was Moses after the game, in the middle of it all as the confetti flew. He never really got to have a conversation with Burrow other than a few words, but hey, did anyone else we know locally get that close to him after?
“I was kind of just taking it all in,” Moses said. “I took the picture with (Burrow), and then a bunch of reporters were around him asking him questions, and I was just taking it in.”
Moses also heard the post game words of LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who talked about how Burrow is the real deal.
“How everybody thinks Joe is this calm, cool, and collected guy all the time and nothing fazes him,” Moses said. ” He said ‘It’s completely true, that’s how he is’.”
Imagine the memories this kid has. Long after the game, Moses was in an Uber with his father and a couple of friends going back to their hotel, and he was still in awe.
“I was still kind of like shaking,” he said. “It was surreal. The national champion and the Heisman Trophy winner? It was pretty great. … It was pretty cool we got to do all that.”
And, added Moses, Burrow will be the likely No. 1 pick in this spring’s NFL Draft, slated to be a Cincinnati Bengal unless the Bengals trade the pick..
Meanwhile, Moses hasn’t figured out his own future yet, still rehabbing his knee while waiting to hear from the schools he’s applied to for next year. Also on the table is a year at a prep school – possibly Bridgeton Academy – which would be another year of football, etc.
“A year to get bigger, faster, stronger, and re-apply to those same schools the following year,” he said.
That would make a lot of sense. At the end of the month he’ll be fitted for a sports brace and after that he plans on working out with former Nashua South and UNH standout QB Trevor Knight, who spent his fall as a member of the Candadian Football League Gray Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and expects to play there next year. Knight interrupted his work as a local quarterback guru to play with the Bombers as a backup, and Moses had been one of his clients. So the kid got to get his picture taken with an NCAA national champion and will soon be tutored by a CFL champion.
So for a kid who wasn’t able to play football his senior year, he’s got quite an inspirational football memory.
“I definitely worked out a little bit harder when I came home,” he said.
But Hayden, if by some chance next you end up in Miam in two weeks at a little event called the Super Bowl without yours truly being there for the first time in four years, well, we’ve got to talk.
Tom King may be reached at 594-1251,firstname.lastname@example.org, or @Telegraph _TomK.