Sio Moore barely had time to unpack his bags following the East-West Shrine game before leaving again, this time for the Senior Bowl.
Though it is rare to find players who end up in both college football all-star games, the former UConn linebacker recognized the unique opportunity handed to him him. A guy who needs all the exposure he can get in front of NFL scouts and front-office personnel had just received an opportunity to get all the exposure he could get.
So Moore arrived in Mobile, Ala., last Wednesday after being added as a late replacement and immediately began turning heads. His performance in the actual game served as more proof that there should be a spot for him on the next level. Moore led the North team with six tackles -- including a sack and two tackles for loss -- after coming into the game off the bench.
Kevin Weidl of ESPN Scouts Inc. said this about Moore following the game:
"No 2013 draft prospect has helped himself more during the all-star process than Connecticut LB Sio Moore ... Moore showed the ability to run and hit, blitzed well and held up in coverage. ... Moore clearly looked like he belonged. His stock could be rising out of the later rounds."
Though Moore made the Big East first-team after an outstanding season, he realized he had work to do to get people to see his true potential. And he did that in those two games.
"I feel like for me, I always look at everything with a chip on my shoulder," Moore said in a recent telephone interview. "That’s how it’s been my entire career at UConn. We’ve always had to go out and earn it and prove to people we’re a good ball club. For me, there’s a part of it that always makes me want to work harder. I always try to work harder than whoever I’m competing with and right now everybody’s competing.
"I just try to be a guy that brings more than the normal things to the table. Everybody’s an athlete. But just being an athlete doesn’t cut it. That’s why I pride myself in my university, and my coaches. They build up the person and when you build up the person, it only helps the player. So I definitely feel like that’s big because it helps with fundamentals and technique. I gained that from them."
Interestingly enough, those two games have not been life-changing experiences for Moore. Training at Athletes' Performance just outside of Pensacola, Fla., has altered the way he approaches preparing for a professional career. Because Moore has completely transformed the way he eats.
Out: Hot Pockets.
In: Vegetables and eggs. For the first time in his life.
"We're on a very healthy and very regimented diet," Moore said. "It's making me leaner, making me stronger. My body feels 10 times better than when I was eating burgers. I was so big on eating twice a day and I would eat in large portions but I would fall asleep and get real heavy eyes and take heavy naps, because of the carbohydrates and fat I was eating. Now, I feel like I've conquered the world. My mom tried to do this for 22 years. She wants me to stay down here because I’m finally eating veggies."
Moore hopes that changing his eating habits will help him when he attends the NFL combine next month, and wherever he may land. He said he has no idea where he might get drafted and does not waste any time pondering the possibilities. As for where he could line up on the next level, Moore believes he could fit in a 3-4 or a 4-3 because of his versatility.
"I can play anywhere on the field," he said.
He certainly has proven that the last two weeks.