Back in August of 2008 Boise State head coach Chris Petersen was forced to make a decision on who would be his starting quarterback. Go with the wise senior, the obvious leader of the team in Bush Hamden, or go with the unproven but certainly very talented red-shirt freshman from Prosser, Washington, Kellen Moore. Petersen, as we obvisouly know now, went with Moore in what was looked upon as one of the most surprising coaching decisions he's ever made.
But why did we doubt Pete? Or did we?
What would this decision do to the lockerroom? Bush was the clear leader and now he'd be on the sidelines?
Could the team rally around a red-shirt freshman like Moore? Could Bronco Nation really get behind this kid? I mean at that point, back in 2008, all Broncos fans knew was he'd thrown 67 touchdowns during his senior season at Prosser High School in Prosser, Washington.
Fortunately, the BSU players as well as their fans found out fairly quickly what this kid was made of. In his first start Moore threw for 274 yards and two touchdowns in a 49-7 win over the Idaho State Bengals. Not bad, but it was against ISU who doesn't exactly light up the FCS Big Sky Conference.
The world would truly meet Moore a few weeks later when the red-shirt freshman helped the Broncos to a 37-32 victory over the then 17th ranked Oregon Ducks. Kellen threw for 386 yards and 3 touchdowns and Boise State was back on the map and so was he. Moore earned national player of the week and Western Athletic Conference honors. A star was born. Moore went on to lead BSU to an undefeated regular season and a one point loss in the Poinsettia Bowl to TCU, 17-16.
But I don't think anyone could have imagined what the 2009 season would bring. He helped BSU to 14 more wins, 39 touchdown passes, 14 more than in 2008 and he threw just 3 interceptions. Moore finished 7th in the Heisman Trophy voting, the best finish by any Bronco ever, but more importantly he helped the Broncos to a 17-10 Fiesta Bowl win to cap a perfect season.
Over the past two seasons the Broncos have gone the way of Moore and as long as he's under center BSU is in very capable hands. The entire college football world thinks so as well. To go along with his WAC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year honors, Moore is being talked about as a Heisman candidate and the season is still a month away. Kellen is also on the Davey O'Brien watch list, which means he listed as one of the top 30 quarterbacks in the nation and could be named college football's best in December.
But if Moore's first two seasons are any indication of what's to come I think 2010 could be even 'Moore' magical than 2008 and 2009.
The best part about all this Moore talk is that he is about the greatest person fans and opposing players could ever meet and when I talked with his parents last November they said he could be the best quarterback in the world, but if he wasn't the best man he could be then football didn't matter. That's most likely the reason he's been able to help this team go 26-1 in games he started. Kellen isn't just a jock in pads, he cares for his teammates and the community he represents and makes you wish there were more athletes just like him, everywhere.