‘One good season can change our lives’Written by Ryan Fowler | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan Succop will go down in history as Mr. Irrelevant of the 2009 NFL Draft. The South Carolina kicker was the last pick, 256th overall, taken by the Kansas City Chiefs.
But the draft did not end with Succop’s name echoing through Radio City Music Hall.
Teams quickly got busy snatching up college free agents, not selected in the draft’s seven rounds.
This is where UT wide receiver Nick Moore’s story comes full circle. In August, I wrote a feature story about Moore and his older brother Lance. The duo came up with the motto, “One good season can change our lives forever.” It certainly seems to be the case for both brothers.
Nick wrapped up his career at Toledo as fourth all-time in receptions with 182. Though the Rockets struggled during the 2008 season, Nick led the team in receptions with 78, including a record single-game performance of 20 against Michigan.
It was enough to impress the Minnesota Vikings, as they signed Moore as a rookie free agent on April 26.
Now that doesn’t guarantee Nick anything as he still needs to make the team to earn the big bucks.
However, Moore will see a familiar face in Minnesota; former Rocket running back Chester Taylor is the Vikings second-string running back.
One good season and one solid career pushed Nick to the forefront and allowed him the opportunity to share the NFL spotlight with his brother.
Lance lived up to the motto by having one great season down in New Orleans. The Saints wide receiver was quarterback Drew Brees’ favorite target. At one point, Lance set a franchise record scoring a touchdown in five straight games.
However, Lance only had a one year contract with the Saints, which up until recently remained unsigned. Then, the news came down that New Orleans worked out a deal to keep Lance in the bayou.
Lance inked a one-year contract for $1.54 million. Not a bad deal for a guy who has been grinding out an NFL career as an undrafted free agent, while proving he belongs the past two seasons. Lance is not alone. Several undrafted free agents have flourished into pro-bowl caliber players in the NFL.
San Diego tight end Antonio Gates was undrafted coming out of Kent State. Now Gates, when healthy, is referred to as one of the best tight ends in the league. Then, you have Toledo’s own Nate Washington. The Scott High School alum earned a spot on the Pittsburgh Steelers roster after he wasn’t drafted coming out of Tiffin University.
After a couple of above-average seasons in the Steel City, Washington signed a multi-year deal with the Tennessee Titans worth $27 million; $9 million of that is guaranteed.
Nick Moore has numerous challenges ahead of him heading into the NFL undrafted, but as you can see, there are a number of case studies pointing in his favor if he follows his brother’s blueprint to success.
There is also the great story of two brothers sharing the NFL stage. Mannings, meet the Moores.
Ryan Fowler is the weekend sports anchor at NBC24. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him and Adam Meyer on Twitter at adamryan419.