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Small Town Gator

Kestahn Moore.

The name brings a wince to the faces of many Gator fans.

The senior RB had key fumbles in UF's losses to both Georgia and LSU last year.  In Baton Rouge, he put the ball on the ground with Florida driving for what would have been a back-breaking TD late in the game.  Against UGA, he lost a fumble on the opening drive, mishandled a snap in the red zone later, and ran into the ball carrier on a late 4th down attempt.

Moore has never electrified the crowd by breaking a long run.  The longest run of his UF career is 32 yards.  He has never even gone over 100 yards rushing in a game.  On an offense stockpiled with playmakers and weapons, he is usually the last one folks get excited about.

So why does Urban Meyer keep putting him on the field?

In short, one word: effort.  Moore is the type of player that every coach loves to have on their team.  He outworks everyone, even if he isn't as talented.  He makes everyone around him better by leading by example.  Talent is wasted if it is not pushed.

Another reason Meyer loves him is because he is the ultimate team player.  He is a terrific blocker, and has never complained about a lack of carries.  He could have whined when UF brought in Emmanuel Moody to take his place this season.  Instead he threw down the gauntlet:  Let's see if he can outwork me for the position.

Most fans know that both Moody and speedster Chris Rainey have more talent than Moore.  Each broke off big gains in the spring game and caused a clamor amongst the crowd with their playmaking abilities, but they also know that they cannot get complacent, because Moore is right there.

He has pushed Rainey to gain 15 pounds of muscle in the off season, and Moody to focus on his own ball security.  They know that they can't slip up, because he is right behind them, ready to take over.

Moore has also accepted the challenge to play some FB this season.  His lead blocking for Brandon James on kickoff returns has impressed coaches so much that they want him to do the same on offense.  Anything to help out the team.

With the injury to senior TE Cornelius Ingram, Moore will have to step into another role: Senior Leader.  He is one of the few seniors on offense.  His leadership will be key for the Gators in 2008, something they were lacking in 2007.

If he steps into that role, he may make his biggest contribution to the Gators yet.... Even if it doesn't show up on the stat sheet.


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