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Photo courtesy of the Washington Redskins
Behind the scenes of a photo shoot for the Washington Redskins
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Photo courtesy of the University of Virginia
Moses in action while playing for U.Va.
He's 6'6”, 335 pounds, and all smiles.
Morgan Moses, a Meadowbrook High School alum and recent University of Virginia graduate, is having one hell of a 2014 so far. Not only did he get engaged and graduate from one of the top universities in the country, he's now living his dream of getting drafted onto an NFL team. But not just any NFL team — his hometown's favorite, which is in the middle of its training camp in Richmond.
“It's all been such a blessing,” the 23-year-old offensive tackle says. “It's great to get to go on the field and share these moments with family, friends and fans. It's cool looking back and seeing how I evolved and have gotten to this point of living my ultimate dream. It shows just how hard I've worked; I'm where I wanted to be in life.”
It wasn't a cushy ride, though. After being named the nation's top offensive lineman in high school and whetting the competitive appetite of college football coaches across the country, Moses' grades failed to qualify him for U.Va. A year at Fork Union Military Academy helped right the wrong turn.
“When I got to [Fork Union], I didn't have a lot of things I had in high school, like a cell phone,” Moses says. “So I had to focus on what I had to do, which was academics. A lot of people don't realize when something is taking away from something else and I never knew football could be taken away. Hearing that I couldn't go to my top colleges because of grades really got my attention to take education more seriously.”
This turning point in his life reveals another passion Moses now nurtures: Helping children value and pursue education. He's involved in Virginia529, an agency focused on saving for college, and he started The Mo Foundation, which stands for “Motivating Others.” When asked what Richmond can expect from him, Moses said he wants to give back to the community.
“I want to get involved with children in the area and be someone who takes the time to show them certain values and show them that I care,” he says. “I got a second chance to pursue my dream, but a lot of people don't get those options, so they need to know the importance of academics as soon as possible.”
Andy Ross, the NFL rookie’s agent and president of Upper Edge Management, echoes the commitment to community service that he sees in Moses.
“Education is a major focus for him,” Ross says. “During the entire draft process from January through April, Morgan flew back and forth between Charlottesville for school and Atlanta for training. It's very hard to get drafted, but no one can take a degree away from you. Morgan recognizes that and wants to pass that message along.”
And what about football? Well, he's a rookie. Moses might be on cloud nine and ready to change the world, but the third-round draftee also has plenty of work to tackle. After all, it's his job now.
“It's a new team to me, a new system, and there's a lot I have to get done,” Moses says. “I need to understand the ins and outs of the playbook, polish technique, and eventually be a guy who can compete. I have a lot of goals in my head, but I know I have to take it one step at a time. If you go in and work hard, though, things will fall into place.”
But bring on the hard work, Redskins; Moses is ready for it. He proved plenty of naysayers wrong with his degree in anthropology, and the Redskins training camp in Richmond is just the start of his newest challenge.
“In terms of goals, you're going to have times you'll fall down,” he says. “But it's not about how many times you fall down; it's how many times do you get up. Never think that your goals are too high or that you can't reach them.”
Little Facts About Big Mo
- Favorite Richmond restaurant: Croaker's Spot
- Favorite RVA hangout: Somewhere in the mall
- Favorite healthy snack: Pineapple
- Sports hero: Dwyane Wade
- What you do to relax? Watch TV or listen music
- Cell phone ring tone: “It's just the generic Sprint ring tone. I'm a simple guy.”