We are very happy here at All Sports Discussion to have an interview with former Virginia Tech football player, Corey Moore (@C_Murder56). From 1997 to 1999, Corey played defensive end for the Hokies (he earned the Big East Defensive Player of the Year in 1998 and 1998). In 1999, Corey was honored with the Bronko Nagurski Award as college football’s defensive player of the year. He also won the Lombardi Award as the college football lineman of the year. He became just the second Virginia Tech football player to gain unanimous All-America honors and was named the Football News’ Defensive Player of the Year. Moore had 35 sacks during his final two college seasons – for 292 yards.
“Jevon Kearse was the freak of the NFL,” Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster said. “Corey Moore was the freak of college football at that time. He was undersized, but nobody could block him. … He could out-physical you at the point of attack, and he could run by you at the point of attack. …
“I’ve been here 23 years and he’s arguably the best player in college football in my time. It would be hard to name another player who had more impact on the game than what Corey Moore had that season.”
Please make sure you take the time to read that article about Corey from David Teel (who is a great journalist that everyone absolutely should follow on Twitter). Corey was known as being a humble, nice man – and Hokies love him for that. Corey had his jersey retired by Virginia Tech in October 2010. (a much deserved honor) He was also inducted into the Virginia Tech Athletic Hall of Fame in October 2010. Without further ado, let’s begin our interview (we are lucky to have him here today – it is totally an honor to spend some time with Corey):
@HokieGuru: So, what made you decide to become a Hokie?
@C_Murder56: It was the family atmosphere and the sense that Coach Beamer and the staff was building something special at Va Tech. Plus Coach Wiles sold me on the fact that I could be the next Cornell Brown (which I thought was crazy at the time).
@HokieGuru: Are you going down to Blacksburg this year for any football games?
@C_Murder56: I hope to make down to at least a couple games. I have my eyes set on the showdown with Florida State and I want to make the Austin Peay game because one of my good friends and former Hokies Marcus Gildersleeve is the WR coach and Recruiting Coordinator for AP.
@HokieGuru: On a professional basis, what are you doing today?
@C_Murder56: Currently, I’m an administrator at Michigan State University working as an academic adviser and coordinator for freshmen/transfer orientation.
@HokieGuru: Tell us about some of your professional football experiences.
@C_Murder56: Honestly, my experience was so brief I don’t remember it. Once I moved on, I moved on. It just wasn’t in God’s plan for me.
@HokieGuru: Who are some of the Hokies and NFL football players you still stay in contact with?
@C_Murder56: I keep in touch with a lot of the guys (way too many to name) but the guys I communicate with on a regular basis are Larry Austin, Marcus Gildersleeve, Ike Charlton, and Anthony Midget to name a few. Social media has allowed me to connect and communicate with some of the younger guys that came after me. I tweet often with DJ Parker, who is one of my favorite Tech players who played after me.
@HokieGuru: Please tell our readers about some of your memorable experiences as a Virginia Tech football player.
@C_Murder56: I have plenty of fond and memorable moments from my time at Tech. One of my most memorable moments was defeating Alabama in the 1st ever Music City bowl in 98. Our season didn’t quite go as we hoped and it ended with a ugly lost to Virginia. So we wanted to send our seniors out with a bang and we went out put a good whipping on Bama who were kind of like our team that year. I think that game propelled both teams to great season the following year. Another memorable moment was the West Virginia game at Morgantown during the 99 season and the run by Mike Vick that set up the game-winning field goal by Shayne Graham. There was never a doubt in my mind that we were going to win the game. Mike Vick was so calm and poised as he took the field on the last drive; he run down the sideline is still a vivid image in my head today.
@HokieGuru: What is your fondest memory at Virginia Tech?
@C_Murder56: My fondest memory has to be the Boston College game in 99 to cap our undefeated season. The fans stormed the field and celebrated with the team. It was unforgettable and it also allowed us to play the national championship.
@HokieGuru: How much do you miss your time at Virginia Tech?
@C_Murder56: I miss Virginia Tech a lot. I miss Virginia even more because it one of my favorite states and what I consider my 2nd home. I joke with Coach Ballien all the time that the only way I will come back to VT is to take his job. Honestly, I would like to come back to VT in some capacity within the next 10 years if its in God’s plan for me.
@HokieGuru: What is your prognosis for the 2012 Virginia Tech football team?
@C_Murder56: I expect the team to win the conference championship this year. The team has a challenging schedule with road game at Clemson and Miami back to back so if they can get through those games unscathed they get Florida State at home on a Thursday night. The Hokies are Mr. Thursday night football we don’t lose on Thursday night games. I’m really excited about the defense this year which I think will be even better this year with a lot of young guys returning who got significant playing time last year. Additionally, I can’t wait to see Logan progress even more as a quarterback. The offensive line should be better and Logan has some impressive receivers to toss it to with Davis and Roberts returning. Those 2 guys have freakiest talent and I expect them both to have great seasons.
@HokieGuru: During your time, Virginia Tech was the Big East’s leader in football (and has continued that excellent tradition as part of the Atlantic Coast Conference). To what do you attribute that success? Coaching longevity? The top-notch strength and conditioning program? Elite players?
@C_Murder56: I will also say that what makes VT football so dominant is the continuity of the coaching staff; the coach that deserves the most praise is the AD of Athletics for Athletic Performance, Mike Gentry (Coach G). VT did not always get the top players but Coach G and his strength and conditioning staff does an unbelievable job of developing players. The entire coaching staff does a good job of developing players during their time at VT. I applaud Coach Beamer for sticking to his recruiting formula and not going after a bunch of 5-star guys who do not buy into team-first concept. The Mike Vick-era helped VT on the recruiting scene and still think his name being tied to VT still helps with recruiting and the football program today.
@HokieGuru: Any advice for the young men out there that read this about getting ready for college and beyond from your experiences as a football player? Was there anything that you took from your away experience on the football team that could help you in other areas of life? We know that you’re working in the area of higher education – any advice you have for students (and these can be non-athletes, as well) as they get ready for college? Corey, here’s your chance to generate some free-flow prose – be wordy – we love it.
@C_Murder56: I would say having the opportunity to be a D-1 athlete is a privilege not a right. It breaks my heart whenever I see a college athlete in trouble with the law for making a stupid decision. The reality for NCAA athletes is not everyone will go on to compete professionally and I want to see more emphasis placed on preparing student-athletes for life in the real world after college. I am not a big fan of the NCAA and all its rules; I think the NCAA is one of the biggest frauds in the country by the way it pimps out student-athletes. The reality of it is so many college football and basketball players are leaving college without a degree, even the ones that stay and use up the 4-5 years of eligibility. To me that’s sad because student-athletes give so much of themselves to a program and walk away with nothing to show for it. I want to see better and more supportive staff within athletic programs who will demand student-athletes give the same effort in the classroom that they give on the field or court. It needs to be genuine and sincere and not just to keep an athlete eligible to compete. Furthermore, student-athletes to take more responsibility in the classroom for their learning to ensure that they earn a degree so there is some type of fair trade off. I am a big fan of free education but I don’t think people on the outside always understand that it’s a big-time commitment being a college athlete and it’s not a free-ride as some people think. It’s important for student-athletes to start thinking about life after college as early as their freshmen year because 4-5 years go by fast. I encourage student-athletes to get connected with career services and alumni from their university who may be working in an industry they have an interest in pursuing after college. Lastly, I think want to see me athletic department play a more active role in preparing athletes for life after college. I think VT athletic department does a good of this and our football program has a great track record of graduating its players but of course I’m biased.
It was an honor to interview Corey Moore, one of Virginia Tech football’s legends. GO HOKIES!!