Kellen Moore: Full-time football for freshman QB

ccripe@idahostatesman.comDecember 18, 2008 

When Boise State freshman quarterback Kellen Moore arrives home in Prosser, Wash., for Christmas, a DVR loaded with football games will be waiting for him.

At his request.

"He's a college football player, but he's still a college football fan," said Tom Moore, Kellen's dad and the longtime coach at Prosser High. "He wants to watch all these games on TV when he comes home for break. He's got notebooks all over the place with plays diagrammed."

Kellen has been surrounded by football since he was born, watching - and helping - his dad build Prosser into a powerhouse. He did more than just soak up his surroundings. He spent his teenage years accumulating game footage and playbooks from college and pro teams and visiting college practices with his dad.

When Kellen came to Boise State for one visit, he toted the Broncos' 2003 offensive playbook - one of his many Internet acquisitions.

"I think you can be a coach's kid and like to be around it and just enjoy the environment and the ambience," said Boise State coach Chris Petersen, whose dad coached junior college football. "And I think there's other guys that not only do that but they truly have been studying the game from a coach's vantage since they've maybe been young guys. And Kellen is one of those guys."

Kellen's experience and passion were key ingredients in his stunning rise at Boise State. He became the first freshman quarterback to start the Broncos' season opener - and parlayed that opportunity into Freshman All-American honors. He is the most accurate passer in school history at 70 percent and he ranks 10th in the nation in pass efficiency.

"(His background) allowed him to come in here in this situation and hit the ground running," Petersen said.

Kellen, who hopes to follow in Petersen's footsteps as an offensive mastermind, spent his spring breaks and summer vacations - "literally, since the time he could walk," Tom said - visiting college practices.

Those trips led Kellen to a now-defunct Web site that sold coaches' video and playbooks.

"When he was in junior high, he would take all his Christmas money and buy videotapes off the Internet," Tom said. "I still have, at our house, dozens of VHS tapes of college games, and we have a stack of playbooks in our basement. It's amazing what you can buy off the Internet."

All of that exposure helped Kellen avoid looking like a rookie for most of this season. He might not have experienced every situation, but he had seen them.

"I've seen quite a few situations and watched different games," Kellen said. "I think of, 'What would I do in this situation?' It becomes where you've already thought of this situation before. You're not walking on the field going, 'OK, what am I going to do here?' You just start thinking to yourself, 'OK, this is what we've got and here we go.' "

And when it's over, he still leans on his dad for support. They talk almost every day.

"It's been awesome," Kellen said. "He's always talking to me about football. He's a good coach, a good everything.''

Said Tom, who was a high school and junior college quarterback: "It's just amazing how much football he has learned in the last couple months."

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