Growing up in Broward County, Tyrone Moss recorded over 2,000 yards in each of his three seasons, totaling over 7,000 yards for his career at Blanche Ely High School. Holding every rushing record in Broward County, Moss had a wide selection of universities that he could attend. Along with Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Michigan, and Oklahoma, the University of Miami topped his list, and the Hurricanes eventually won out over the other schools.
Moss felt good about coming to Miami, which is about 45 minutes from where he grew up. He didn’t think he could play up to his standards consistently in cold weather, so he decided to stay close to home. At Miami, he remains close to his family, and they are able to come to every home game.
“Coach Coker does a great job with the players,” Moss said. “He is very approachable. You can relate to him and he always has time for you. I am a sports management and business major, and the academics are of high quality. UM has a great educational program, which took part in my decision process.”
Moss feels that the biggest transition from high school to college is learning the plays and the intense pass protection. As this season has progressed, however, he has picked up on the difficult language in the play calling.
“The more you’re out there playing, the more comfortable you feel, and that’s how I felt last week,” Moss said. “I got in a rhythm. I practice to run the ball and score touchdowns. I hope the coaches now believe in me even more, especially after last week. I always try to do the best I can so I hope I gained more of their trust.”
Last week against Syracuse, Moss rushed for 91 yards, all in the second half, and averaged 5.1 yards per carry. He scored a nine-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter that secured a 17-10 victory for the ‘Canes.
“It’s great that we are able to run the football again,” Head Coach Larry Coker said. “He gives us back that other dimension you’d like to have on a team. His strength allowed him to break the first tackle, which is the basis for red zone efficiency. He will definitely see extended playing time.”
Moss watches hours of film before each game to study the opposing team’s defense. His primary job is to protect the quarterback, and he is able to accomplish that easily with his strength. He knows to always go with his initial instinct when carrying the ball, but is smart enough to recognize if a hole is not there, he can adjust on the spot.
“On that last touchdown play I saw him run over the linebacker and get into the end zone,” Chris Myers said. “At that point I realized that he has matured and grown up real fast. That’s the type of running back we need to have here, the ones that want to get in the end zone and finish the play. And he’s only a freshman, so if he keep working on that and keeps improving, he’s going to be a great asset over the next three years.”
Jarrett Payton and Moss have a close-knit relationship, and both do not care who starts, as long as they get the job done. Payton admits that Frank Gore and Quadtrine Hill took Moss under their wings in the beginning when he first came to UM, but as the season continued, Moss began to turn to Payton. For Moss, it was great to play with and learn from Payton, son of the late Walter Payton, whom Moss looked up to while growing up.
“I don’t know what the coaches want to do about splitting the playing time,” Moss said. “I feel that if I get the chance to go in, I can get the job done. And that’s the most important part. My goal is to get into the end zone.”