Of all the people who have ever played high school football in our area, I think what T. J. Moe did his senior year stacks up against anybody—anybody. Read closely: At Fort Zumwalt West in 2008, he scored 61 touchdowns. That is not a career, that is a single season. Only Roger Maris has had a more impressive 61. Moe threw for 2,557 yards, and he ran for 2,029 yards. Throw in a perfect grade point average and a pretty good basketball career, and you have a pretty nice high-school experience.
But Moe wasn’t done. At Mizzou, he became Wes Welker. He rarely dropped a ball and somehow managed to get open all the time. In 2010, Moe had one of the most productive seasons in Mizzou history, catching 92 balls for 1,045 yards. Part of the reason Blaine Gabbert became a first-round draft choice is Moe. T.J. was the security blanket. In trouble? Nobody open? Get it to T.J. He was never the fastest or biggest, just a gamer.
Ironically, Moe ended with the Patriots, who signed him as a free agent. Wes Welker was gone to Denver, but the Pats signed his clone in Danny Amendola. Moe signed a $30,000 guaranteed contract for a chance to make the team, more money than any undrafted free agent was given by New England. However, T. J. tore his Achilles tendon during offseason training, putting his NFL dream is on hold.
Moe is staying close to football as an analyst for Vianney football games and as a Mizzou correspondent for CBS Sports Radio 920.
What was your greatest thrill?
San Diego State in 2010, we were down four, with just under a minute to go in the game. I caught a short pass and made a few guys miss. I ran 68 yards for a touchdown. To be able to come through for my team in that situation was quite a rush.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
It was the first play of my very first college game as a true freshman versus Illinois. Blaine Gabbert hit me in stride on a seam route with nobody around. There was a clear path to the end zone and I dropped it—hit me right in the numbers—very first play I was in the game. It took a little while to shake that one off.
What was your hardest collision?
Kansas 2010; actually, it wasn’t a player that hit me. I took a hand-off on a jet sweep around the left side from the Kansas 5-yard line. I wasn’t quite going to score, so I went airborn at the three. I stuck the ball out over the goal line. As a result, I wasn’t able to brace my landing. I actually knocked myself out completely. You never knew that because Blaine and Tim Barnes picked me and dragged me to the sidelines after the score.
What are your goals?
I plan to recover completely from my latest injury and become a starting receiver for an NFL team. After I’m finished with my NFL career, I plan to go into business as a financial adviser—those aren’t goals, those are plans.
1. It doesn't surprise me one bit about the health scares of NFL head coaches recently. These guys work from 5:00 a.m. ‘til midnight. Lovie Smith would have to take walks with his wife at 4:00 a.m. to find out how his kids were doing. I'd rather be a banker.
2. Former Rams players are all over town coaching high school football: Grant Williams at Westminster Christian Academy, Andy McCullum at Eureka, and Jamie Martin at Parkway West. Those guys are too smart to get into NFL coaching. They want to live normal lives.
3. Things you should eat: the Chicken Sandwich at The Hive, the Sicilian Omelete at Chris' Pancake, the chicken soup at Charlie Gitto's downtown, and the Spaghetti Bolognese at Sugo's.
4. John Mozeliak has been a magnificent GM. The common denominator of the great ones is the guts to make a move. Jhonny Peralta is a gamble. It's lot of money for a guy who was suspended. But I believe in Mo. This will be fascinating to watch.
5. I think the most interesting draft question surrounding the Rams will be, Do they draft a quarterback in the first round with one of their two first-round picks? Sam Bradford was solid. The grade, though, is incomplete. What if Johnny Football is sitting there in the first round? Wouldn't that be fun to watch?