After returning from his official visit to Eastern Washington University, Nick Moore made the decision to commit in about the time it’d taken him to fly from Spokane, Washington, to Portland and from Portland to Burbank.
Three hours. The Hart senior quarterback didn’t need more time Sunday to pick the NCAA Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision school as his college destination.
“I loved it there and wanted to come home and talk with my parents to see what they thought,” he said.
The conversation didn’t take long.
Moore liked the program’s family feel. He liked the university’s city: Cheney, Washington. He liked Aaron Best, who was promoted Saturday from offensive line coach to head coach after Beau Baldwin left to be offensive coordinator at California, Berkeley.
The program first caught Moore’s eye when former Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams captured national attention with prolific passing numbers before transferring to the University of Oregon.
At Hart, Moore mirrored Adams’ dual-threat ability.
Moore threw for 2,154 yards, 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions this season. He ran for 709 yards and 15 more scores.
He threw for 224 yards and ran for 60 in a first-round playoff loss at Cathedral High of Los Angeles in November and hoped the performance would pique the interest of Oregon State coach Gary Andersen, who was in attendance.
Oregon State was Moore’s dream school and his brother Matt’s alma mater. An offer never came.
“There was, at some point, probably (some disappointment). I felt I had a great game at Cathedral,” Moore said. “…They decided to go in a different direction, which is completely fine. Eastern Washington, to me, is just as good. It might not be a big campus, a big stadium. But they beat Washington State last year. They are a good football team.
“There was maybe disappointment that I didn’t get the respect or the notice from them that I thought I should. But that’s all out the window now. It doesn’t matter.”
Moore’s focus now is on signing Feb. 1, getting to Cheney after graduation and learning the pass-first system that vaulted quarterback Gage Gubrud and receiver Cooper Kupp into contention for the Walter Payton Award this season.
In 2015, Kupp won the award, which serves as the Heisman Trophy of the FCS.
Gubrud threw for 5,160 yards and 48 TDs this season as a sophomore and served as Moore’s host over the weekend when temperatures rested in the 30s and 40s.
“They were all in T-shirts and jeans, saying it was one of the warmer days,” Moore said.