|David Moore on signing with the Panthers: 'Treated me like family'|
|Grambling star made Senior Bowl impression|
|Published Friday, May 14, 2021 8:00 pm|
|Former Grambling State guard David Moore made an impression on the Carolina Panthers at the Senior Bowl– and vice versa – that the two sides agreed on a free agent contract earlier this month.|
David Moore was a Carolina Panthers favorite at the Senior Bowl.
The former Grambling State guard played for head coach Matt Rhule and offensive line coach Pat Meyer on the American team in Mobile, Alabama. Moore made such a mark that they signed him as an undrafted free agent earlier this month. He chose to come to Carolina based on his experience with the staff.
“They treated me like family throughout the whole week,” Moore said. “I just had fun with the coaches, all the way down the line. That was great for me.”
Moore opted out of the 2020 season, meaning he had not played competitive football in over a year by the time the Senior Bowl arrived.
“This is a guy that went to the Senior Bowl and had not played since the previous season next Thanksgiving,” Rhule said. “He had gone almost a year and two or three months in between playing and at the end day this is a performance-based business. [Offensive line coach] Pat Meyer worked with him all week and said ‘hey, he can do it.’ He was available to us at the end. He’s got a great personality, great demeanor and everyone that’s around him just kind of gravitates toward him.”
Moore never doubted that he would put pads back on. He used the time off to train in Houston with Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Bruce Matthews and dropped more than 20 pounds since the Senior Bowl to get to 327.
“There was never a moment where I doubted that we would play football again, but it was a very long process,” Moore said.
Former Grambling teammate and Panthers left tackle Trent Scott also drew him to Carolina. Scott, who signed a one-year deal with the team in February, started four of 14 appearances at left tackle in 2020, his first season with the Panthers after he was claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Chargers.
Scott helped Moore with the draft process, Carolina’s playbook and made sure he was comfortable and adapting to life after college.
“We both came from Grambling State,” Moore said. “Just having him here in my corner, learning plays, I can learn from him and learn from the other vets, but just made it more comfortable for me to pick this top organization. But right now, when it comes to competition and everything, I am just taking it day by day. Just try to make it through this right now.”
Said Rhule: “Before we went to the Senior Bowl, Trent Scott said something and Trent Scott’s, he’s one of us, got the right mindset and work ethic, he is just an awesome guy. He said: ‘Hey coach, keep an eye out for David Moore from Grambling. I put my stamp on him. He can play.’ And then we got down there and he is. I think he was pretty much [to] everyone was one of our favorite guys. He had a great attitude.”
There were 1,696 players on NFL active rosters and practice squads at the start of the 2020 season, including 29 who played at HBCUs, which have produced numerous NFL legends. Some of the most notable are Grambling alumni. Doug Williams was the first Black quarterback to start in and win a Super Bowl as well as be earn the game MVP award.
Defensive tackle Buck Buchanan, defensive end Willie Davis, cornerback Willie Brown and wide receiver Charlie Joiner are all Hall of Fame inductees. Running back Tank Younger was the league’s first HBCU player.
“[Playing at HBCU] has been a great, great experience—just the tradition and the history,” Moore said. “I did not really know much about HBCUs coming out of high school. The offensive coordinator at Grambling at the time came on a home visit to my school. He just started talking to me about the history of Grambling. I was like, ‘what is Grambling?’ He started talking about Doug Williams and other great legends. I became more intrigued. I wanted to visit. I fell in love with Grambling right after that. It really brings great pride for me to be able to represent HBCUs at this platform, just to show guys that they can find you. As long as you put the work in, anything can happen.”
Said Rhule: “My thing with all these guys as I told them today, there are no first round, second round draft picks anymore. You are all just guys on the team. Whether you are undrafted or with a first pick just leave all that behind you and just move ahead.”
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