UM’s Moore to play in Texas Vs. Nation

MISSOULA — The University of Montana’s Dan Moore has been invited to participate in the Texas vs. the Nation All-Star Game, which is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 2 at 6 p.m. (Mtn.) at Eagle Stadium in Allen, Texas. The game will be televised by FOX Sports.

Moore a 5-11, 235-pound fullback, is a four-year letterman at Montana and is from Tucson, Ariz.  He has been training in San Diego, Calif., for the past month-and-a-half.

“I got a call from my agent (Mike Boyer) this morning (Monday, Jan. 28) and he told me there was a 50-50 chance that I may get invited to play in the Texas versus the Nation game,” said Moore via a phone interview this afternoon.  “He told me they were looking for a player from the Texas area at that time.

“He called me about 30 minutes later and said ‘pack up your stuff, you’re headed to Texas to play in that all-star game,” said Moore (who will play for the “Nation” team), who is obviously excited about the post-season opportunity.  “The fullback who was there either got hurt, or bowed out, I am not sure, but I am ready to go.

Moore played in 38 career games and rushed for almost 1,000 career yards.  He was the Grizzlies’ co-special teams captain (along with Caleb Walden) as a senior in 2012.  He had an outstanding start to the 2012 season, but unfortunately suffered an injury at Eastern Washington on Sept. 29, and missed almost the rest of the season.  In UM’s first four-plus games he rushed for 406 yards and 4 touchdowns.  His senior year he served as Montana’s special teams captain.

“It’s been a frantic day, that’s for sure,” said Moore, who celebrates his 23rd birthday this Saturday (Feb. 1).  “I had to get my pads shipped to Texas, and I fly out of here (San Diego) at five o-clock this evening.  I may be one of the last guys to get there, but I am really looking forward to it.  I am feeling good and am at 100 percent, and I have my weight up to 235.”

“The Texas versus the Nation is a big game,” said Griz head football coach Mick Delaney.  “Every team in the NFL will have a scout there.  Dan’s been working extremely hard.  This is his opportunity to get a little bit of a jump on Pro Day (which is March 8), because hopefully he can show the teams that are there that he can do the things that they need him to do.  Those things are to block and catch the ball out of the backfield, and he can do those two things.

“It’s a great opportunity for him,” Delaney continued.  “I am just so excited and happy for him, because you know Dan – this is what he’s lived for – just to get a chance.  Pro day is only about a month-and-a-half away and he was working very hard towards that.  But, this will really give him a jump in that direction If he can have a great day like Shann (Schillinger, a former Griz safety who plays for the Atlanta Falcons) did when he played, then guys who come in for pro day might evaluate him even more when they come in.”

Last season the game was re-branded as the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in San Antonio, but the post-season exhibition, which was established in 2006, will shift back to the original format for 2013.

The exhibition serves as a stage for professional scouts to evaluate prospects for the NFL, CFL and other pro football leagues, similar to long-standing college all-star games like the Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Game. Since 2006, over 500 college players who participated in the Texas vs. the Nation game have been signed to NFL contracts and over the last five years, 100 players have been selected in the NFL Draft.

After a productive collegiate career at Division III’s Mount Union College, wide receiver Pierre Garcon received an invitation to the 2008 Texas vs the Nation game and impressed scouts throughout the week of practice and during the game. He was drafted in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts and recently signed a five-year $42.5 million contract this off-season with the Washington Redskins. Other notable NFL players who participated in this event over the years includes Bears WR Johnny Knox, Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb, Raiders offensive tackle Jared Veldheer and Eagles offensive tackle Demetrius Bell.

Grizzly players who have played in the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star game are Schillinger (2010), safety Colt Anderson (2009), and quarterback Josh Swogger (2007).

— UM Sports Information