Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 11/10/11
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Bo Moos was destined to play college football the moment he first saw the bright lights of the world. When he was born in Pullman, Wash., Dennis and Marilyn Erickson brought him a Washington State letter jacket. When he played at the Pflugrad house with Amanda, now a reporter for FOX Sports Arizona, and Aaron, now a Sun Devil receiver, Moos would grab Amandas Barbie dolls and rip their heads off. He had the right temperament for football, his dad, Bill, chuckled. But the cementing moment for Bos lifelong passion came as a young boy on a road trip with his dad, who was then the athletic director at Oregon. The Ducks were playing at Cal, and Bo asked his dad to get him a sideline pass so he could experience the action up close. On a punt return, a Cal player came flying over the sideline and literally ran Bo over. He just flattened me, Bo said. The guy felt so bad that he put his hand down to help me up. As I got up, I looked at him, I looked around and I thought, 'This is awesome. Moos (6-foot, 279 pounds) was a second-team all-state player at Sheldon High School in Eugene, Ore. Aside from his defensive line prowess, he scored 18 touchdowns as a massive fullback because he simply ran people over. Moos got a college scholarship offer from Erickson, who was coaching at Idaho. There were also a handful of other Division I-AA schools that showed some interest, but Moos wasnt recruited by a single I-A team. He shouldnt have been. He was a little fat-ass, said Arizona State defensive coordinator Craig Bray, whose affection for his favorite players is often expressed with blunt statements. We were good friends with his dad and we took a chance on him. Moos and Aaron Pflugrad had taken a recruiting trip to Idaho together, but a short time after Erickson offered them scholarships, he informed them that he would be taking the job at Arizona State. "He said, 'You might hear from me, but you should really look at this school. Idahos a great institution, Moos said. He was honest with us, but I just crossed my fingers and hoped I would hear from him. He did. Bill Moos was concerned that Erickson hadnt even watched film of Bo, but Erickson told him: I believe hes made from the same stock as his dad and family. Thats good enough for me. Moos didnt play much early in his career. He redshirted a year, he had some health issues, he had some academic issues and he was woefully unprepared, both physically and mentally, for the rigors of big-time college football. "He was immature, as a lot of freshmen are. Bo was a guy who had to learn what it takes, Bray said. We told him, 'Bo, youve got to get in the weight room. Youve got to do a lot of things to get yourself into being a football player, and to his credit, he did it and hes worked his way into being a pretty doggone good football player -- an old-time, blue-collar, hard-working player. Moos role is well defined as a starter at defensive tackle. Hes a heck of a run player, and if he has to run somebody down, we hope somebody else is chasing with him, Bray said. Because his dad is the AD at Washington State, Bill hasnt seen Bo play much during his college career. He made it down for the USC game earlier this season when Bo turned in perhaps his best college game, complete with his first and only career sack. Bill will be on hand for the Sun Devils final game against Cal in Tempe, but this week will be special. Moos gets a chance to play in Martin Stadium, in his hometown, in front of an adoring public. Bill said hell have 18 to 20 relatives in a suite with him. Hell also have an overflow suite for more extended family. Included in that group is Ericksons mother, Mary. Rivalries and important games are one thing, Bill said. Whats more important is that we always take care of each other. Like any college player, Moos hopes to play in the NFL. His size and lack of speed may prevent that. Who cares? Bray said. Its about, now with Bo, making the most of your opportunity. The guys who worry about the next level are the guys who probably dont perform real well on every Saturday. Bo understands that if something happens, it happens. If it doesnt, life goes on. In many ways, Moos represents everything that college football is and should be about. My own son epitomizes what college athletics can do for young people to help them mature and grow as human beings, not just football players, Bill said. Can you imagine how proud it makes me as a father to see what my son has become? Bo believes theres more to come, whether its in football or the bigger, wider world. Obviously I want to play as long as I can, but I wouldnt complain if this was where it ended, Moos said. In a perfect world, Id want it to end in Pasadena (at the Rose Bowl), but Im so happy I got to do this. This has been the experience of a lifetime.
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