The alarm clock will ring a bit earlier this morning for Kellen Moore.
Unlike other mornings, his first thought won't be slamming the snooze bar or pulling a pillow over his head.
No, this morning, Moore — like thousands of other high school football players from across the country — will gladly rise from bed, sign his national letter of intent and fax it to his new school.
Moore, who lives in Prosser, Wash., plans to send his letter to Boise State by 7 a.m. Pacific time.
"It's worth getting up," Moore said.
The record-setting quarterback at Prosser High in south central Washington is among the most highly regarded prospects in the Broncos' recruiting class, which becomes official today — National Letter of Intent Signing Day.
Somehow the results of signing day have become as important to college football fans as the results of actual games. Though he may never attempt a pass for the Broncos, Moore, Washington's all-time prep leader in completions and touchdowns, is considered a catch.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder is the lone four-star recruit in the class, according to Scout.com, a recruiting Web site.
(Funny thing about those sites: It used to be that once a player committed to Boise State, his rating fell one star. Now that the Broncos have proven to be successful with low-rated recruits, his rating rises one star on the site's five-star scale. I wonder what Moore's star count would be had he committed to Idaho, the only other Division I-A school to offer him a scholarship. Hint: It wouldn't rise.)
While pundits and fans debate who got the best class and who will make the biggest impact, Moore will take several opportunities to savor the day.
He will "officially" sign with the Broncos during a lunchtime ceremony at his school. There are three copies of the letter of intent, leaving three opportunities for "official" signings. Moore is also planning a dinner outing with his family, including dad, Tom, who coaches Prosser.
It's a day he has long dreamed and worried about.
It was only after Moore committed to the Broncos — he did so on his official visit on the weekend Boise State played Hawaii in September — that the senior could relax.
"The first few weeks of the season, you feel like you're not just playing. To a certain extent, you have to play about yourself and not completely team-oriented. You're still trying to play for a scholarship," said Moore, who set state single-season records for completions, passing yards, and touchdowns as a junior.
"Once I committed, I felt like I could relax more and play to win the game, play more with the team. It just felt more relaxing and not so overwhelming. ... Once you make that decision, it's like, now I'm a high school player completely again."
Moore's internal distractions didn't affect his performance. The Seattle Times' all-classification state player of the year threw 67 touchdowns as a senior — breaking his own Washington high school record of 66 — and guided 12-0 Prosser to the 2A state semifinals, where they lost.
"It isn't where we wanted to be," he said.
Boise State is. Moore, whose neighbor growing up was Broncos defensive tackle Dan Gore, has been following the Broncos since Gore became a member of the program. When he arrived in Boise — and saw the pregame festivities — Moore decided he wanted to wear blue and orange.
Now it only gets tougher.
Boise State has four quarterbacks, one in each class, already in the program. Moore knows there are no guarantees that he'll ever pass them on the depth chart. He knows, too, that the Broncos are likely to continue recruiting one quarterback each year.
"I felt good with the way they had one each year. It wasn't like they were bringing in three guys at the same time. You can really get stuffed with that," Moore said. "There's four guys there that are all really, really good. Looking at Boise, the only drawback to being there was they have a good set of quarterbacks."
A good set of quarterbacks that will vie for the starting job this spring — without Moore.
He wanted to finish his senior year in Prosser, where he's finishing his basketball career as a pass-first power forward (8 points, 8 assists per game). And trying "like crazy" to gain some weight.
"The higher the level, the bigger the guys are. You've got to be able to absorb a little more," Moore said.
For the promise of more punishment later on, he'll gladly absorb an early morning wake-up call today.
To offer story ideas or comments, contact sports columnist Brian Murphy at 377-6444 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org/ To read his previous columns, visit idahostatesman.com/murphy.