Corey Moss has closed out his career as an Upson-Lee football player and a tremendous career it was. He was the Knights’ starting quarterback for the past two years after getting some valuable playing time in 2010 behind starter Tay Matthews. His name is scattered throughout the Upson-Lee record book and that brings to mind an arguable question.
Is Corey Moss the best football player in Upson-Lee history? Please understand that I am not suggesting that Moss should be anointed as such, but I wouldn’t be asking the question if the possibility hadn’t crept into my mind. How good was Moss compared to former Upson-Lee players?
Maybe you don’t compare players and if that’s true then you can forget the remainder of this column. If you are willing to give the idea some consideration; however, I will give you some fodder for discussion.
Moss finished his career as the 4th leading career rusher in UL history with 2,697 yards and as the 6th leading career passer with 1,136 yards. That may not look too impressive until you consider that he is one of only two players who are in the Top Ten on both lists. Travis Gaines is the other and he was a three-year starter. Moss also ranks 4th in career touchdowns scored with 30.
His 1,501 rushing yards in 2012 is 2nd on the all-time single-season UL list and his 20 touchdowns in 2012 are tied for the most in a single season for the Knights. His 491 career rushing attempts rank 4th in UL history, and he holds the top two spots in single-season rushing attempts with 238 in 2011 and 236 in 2012.
Only ten times in Upson-Lee history has a Knights’ runner rushed for over 200 yards in a single game and Moss had four of those games. His top career performance was a 261-yard outing against Jonesboro this year. That ranks 2nd on Upson-Lee’s all-time single game list. Moss started 21 games in his final two seasons at Upson-Lee and he rushed for 100+ yards in 15 of those games. That’s consistency.
Moss was a tough and durable player. A perfect example of that occured during his sophomore season in 2010 when, as an unknown commodity, he was called on to replace an injured Matthews in the Knight’s Homecoming Game against Harris County. Moss was injured in the second quarter but refused to leave the game and played the remainder of the contest with a broken collar bone. The Knights won the game 3-0 in overtime and Moss’ performance was an inspiration to both his teammates and coaches. It was the first real sign of how tough this kid was.
Another sign of his toughness and durability is that he rushed 474 times and attempted 239 passes during his final two seasons. That means that Moss was in possession of the ball 713 times and he lost only 6 fumbles. That doesn’t take into consideration the fact that, as the quarterback, he handled the ball on numerous other plays where he handed off to another back. On top of that he returned kickoffs and punts during his senior campaign. He took hit after hit but he just wouldn’t cough up the ball.
Moss had speed as well as toughness and elusiveness. If he got into the opposition’ secondary, chances were very slim that he was going to be caught. He had 7 touchdowns runs of 60+ yards in his career.
Every opposing coach knew that Moss was the key to the Knights’ offense and that stopping him was the key to stopping Upson-Lee. He entered every game as a marked man, but nobody really stopped him. He wasn’t afraid to run the ball between the tackles and take the pounding that resulted from running into much bigger players.
Moss was also an exellent representative of the UL football team. He never danced around, strutted, pointed to himself, or made any attempt to draw any attention to himself. He was a team-oriented player who always gave 100 percent.
OK, those are some of the reasons why Corey Moss could be considered to be the best in UL history. This young man just did so much and meant so much to his team. There may be some negatives, but I don’t know of any that would deflect from the positives that I have mentioned.
There have been some really good players in UL history. A few who come to mind are Willie Kendall, Tyrone Perry, Antroun McDaniel, Alex Collier, Laquentin Lamar, Logan Winkles, Tunde Fariyike, Eldred King, Tommy Watson, Marcus Harvey, Charlie Walker, Ben Lowe, and others. Of course it is always tough to compare offensive players to defensive players.
I think Moss could be the best of this bunch. What about you? As one who has watched every play of every Upson-Lee game over their 21-year history, I feel that I have a unique persepctive in considering this possibility. I’ll not so far as to definitely put a stamp on Moss as the best in Upson-Lee history but I will say that, overall, he is as good as I have seen in the black and silver. Does that make him the best?
Congratulations to Corey Moss on a great high school football career. It was a pleasure to watch him play every Friday night. I hope that he will get an opportunity to continue his education and football career at the collegiate level. He is certainly deserving and colleges are really missing out if they don’t consider him for a scholarship. I’m sure that he will represent his school and hometown well at the next level.
Good Luck Corey!