DeKALB – In the sweltering heat at Huskie Stadium on Tuesday afternoon, Northern Illinois players and coaches participated in NIU’s final of three media days.
Team and individual pictures were taken, interviews were done with local news reporters and the team ended with practice.
For senior receiver Martel Moore, the day served as the backdrop for the start to his final season with the Huskies.
“It went by fast, but it feels good,” Moore said, “It’s time for me to step up and be a leader on the team. That’s what the last seniors [did], and that’s what I want to do as well.”
The San Antonio native enters the 2012 season with 1,461 career receiving yards and 11 touchdowns on 103 receptions, and has designs for big improvements on those numbers. A duplication of his junior year would place Moore fourth all-time in career receptions and receiving yards at NIU. For some perspective, that would put him ahead of Huskie legend P.J. Fleck in yards and just behind him in receptions.
“My job first is to help out the team and get some wins,” he said, “but I also have some records I’d like to break in my senior year.”
Moore thinks some of his personal accomplishments come from his football-talented family. Several of his family members played college football, including his father. He hopes to follow in his cousin Wane McGarity’s footsteps and end his career at the professional level.
“I’m hoping to take my chances and go to the pros just like everyone else,” Moore said, “It’s been a lifelong dream for me and I only hope that it happens.”
NIU enters the season as the defending Mid-American Conference champion. After a successful season that was led by former quarterback Chandler Harnish, Moore is confident in what junior Jordan Lynch will accomplish as starting quarterback.
“Jordan’s coming into the same thing Harnish was in,” Moore said. “Now it’s our job as receivers and the rest of the offense to make him look good just like we helped make Chandler look good.”
Now, he reflects on the four years he has been a member of the NIU football team, and Moore realizes how much of a family the team is to him. Moore said coach Dave Doeren and receivers coach Frisman Jackson are two of the people that Moore thanks most for his success and because of their experience, they are able to tell what is best for the team.
Doeren acknowledged Moore for his success while addressing reporters Tuesday and outlined the receiver’s goals for this season.
“I’d like Martel to be a consistent playmaker,” Doeren said. “There were two or three games where he was untouchable and then there would be a couple after that where you wouldn’t hear much from him. You’d like your seniors to be guys that play their best football day in and day out. I think there is no doubt that last year’s seniors played their best football.”
It was with last year’s seniors that Moore experienced a highlight early in his college football career when he was just a freshman and they were sophomores. In 2009, when NIU defeated Purdue on the road, Moore was a member of the team and still remembers the excitement from the upset.
“Looking back on all that this team has accomplished while I’ve been a member of the team, It’s going to feel different being a senior,” Moore said. “But I’m looking forward to the upcoming season and hopefully ending this season with more wins than last [year].”
HE WANTS MOORE
Senior receiver Martel Moore’s numbers through three seasons at NIU:
Year Rec. Yards Yds/Rec. TDs
2009 16 189 11.8 0
2010 40 525 13.1 4
2011 47 747 15.9 7
Total 103 1,461 14.2 11