The Duncan Banner
After suffering a dislocated shoulder during the Duncan football team’s spring practices, Demons lineman Daniel Moore was cleared to play by doctors just in the nick of time.
Moore received a clean bill of health last week, allowing him to compete against some of the best high school players in the country at the National Underclass Combine’s Ultimate 100 Top Propsect Elite Camp last weekend on the University of Oklahoma campus. The camp invites the top 30 athletes at each position and grade level from all around the United States.
“I had wanted to go to a camp and play all summer, and being cleared to play right before that camp was so exciting,” Moore said. “These guys were from all over, and they weren’t just randomly picked. It was the best of the best, they were some incredible athletes.”
Moore’s history with NUC made him an obvious choice for last weekend’s camp. He was invited back after being chosen as the NUC Yukon event’s Trench Warfare MVP, Co-Strongest Man and Offensive Line MVP in April.
“It did so much for my confidence and allowed me to learn about what I need to do to get better,” Moore said. “Going into games now, my mindset if that if I can handle my own spot against people at that level, I have nothing to worry about.”
For the three-year starter, those lessons learned at the camp included the need to focus on foot work and hand motion while blocking.
“Being up there, I realized how fast and athletic players on the defensive line are now,” Moore said. “Because of that, foot work and keeping active hands are extremely important.”
The journey leading up to the camp was perhaps just as hard as the event itself. Moore spent months recovering from the injury, caused from a player falling on him at the bottom of a pile, and wanting to get back on the field. At one point, his status for the beginning of the Demons season was in question.
“At first, it was frustrating,” Moore said. “My feeling was, ‘This stinks, I want to get out and do something.’”
During those trying days, it was the center’s patience that eventually paid off. Instead of trying to rush back to health, Moore made sure to rest and allow his muscles to recover. Doctors said he stands months ahead of schedule and are shocked at his range of motion.
With Moore holding his own against the top competition around, colleges are beginning to take notice of the 2014 senior. Moore said he’s received numerous emails and hand written letters from Division I and Division II schools.
But the focus now is all on the Demons upcoming season, now just more than a month away. Moore pointed to the team’s veteran presence in its skill positions and expects the line to only get better as the season grows older.
“We have a lot of young guys, we’re not as experienced as we were last year,” Moore. “But the talent and potential are there. Once we get a couple of games in, we’ll be a strong line.”