Concentration, physicality and determination led Riley Moses to success at Fillmore Central, but a brief lapse ended with the Husker walk-on standing over his high school coach.
“Sometimes when I’m playing line, I just play and don’t pay attention,” Moses said. “I just flipped the switch.”
Unfortunately for the scout team quarterback, who that day happened to be Fillmore Central coach Mitchell Lockhart, the switch didn’t turn off until after Lockhart was on the ground.
“He was almost scared, he didn’t realize it right away and he was apologizing,” Lockhart said. “I said, ‘Nope. You did your job. We’re all good.’ ”
That’s a job Moses will look to continue in Lincoln, but on the offensive line.
At 6-foot-3 and 285 pounds, Moses is expected to line up at center at Nebraska, his lifelong dream program.
“There were other schools, but Nebraska was always a dream for me,” Moses said. “In the back of my mind, I always wanted to go there.”
Moses, a first-team Class C-1 pick, elected to pursue his dream over offers from Division II schools UNK, Wayne State and Southwest Minnesota State. And thus, he’ll become the first Fillmore Central graduate to become a Husker, an accomplishment the school’s all-time leader in pancakes (138) doesn’t take lightly.
“It means a lot. I set a precedent at the school,” Moses said. “And showed kids that you don’t always have to be the biggest or the best athlete, and that as hard as you wanna work will get you to where you want to go.”
His coach sees the hard-working mentality as one of Moses’ biggest assets.
“On our team, (Riley) was a physical and emotional leader,” Lockhart said. “That’s the best attribute I could give to him, that he’s an extremely hard worker. And, you know, he was never looking for self-praise, he was looking to do the best thing for our program and for the kids around him. And that’s what really stands him out from other people.”
Despite often being double teamed, Moses finished his senior season with a team-best 67 tackles and 14 tackles for loss. He also led the Panthers in pancake blocks (71).
With time, Lockhart said, Moses will be up to the challenge of making the jump to big-time college football.
“He knows that role of contributing to the Huskers is a long road that most people don’t walk in as a freshman and expect any kind of recognition or playing time,” Lockhart said. “He knows he has to earn it through his hard work and his drive, and those are things he’s relied on in high school.
“He knows it’s a whole new level at Division I for sure, and that’s a challenge he’s excited to take on.”
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