MIAMI (CBSMiami) – College football has the Heisman trophy, now South Florida High School Football has the CBS4 Nat Moore Trophy.
It is named after a guy who became the ultimate hometown football hero.
He is universally known and respected and for good reason.
For 13 seasons, Moore was the Miami Dolphins receiver who always knew how to get open.
He caught touchdown passes from two Hall of Fame quarterbacks, Bob Griese and Dan Marino.
Moore’s name has been immortalized in the Dolphins Ring of Honor, but his local legend was born long before.
“He was not only an inspiration on the field, because he played much, much bigger than his actual stature, but he lives his life as a champion,” said Roger Harriott, St. Thomas Aquinas High School Head Football Coach. “He’s a great role model for us all.”
Before becoming a college star at the University of Florida, Moore cut his teeth at Edison High School.
He helped build on a reputation of high school football in Miami that had been established generations before.
“From 1927 to 1953 Miami High won 17 National Championships,” said high school recruiting analyst Larry Blustein. “No one would play them.”
Today, South Florida has blossomed into a hotbed of football talent unlike anywhere else in the nation.
“I have college coaches come down here and say they’ve never seen anything like it,” said WQAM Radio host Joe Rose. “We can go through the public and the private schools down here, probably the top 10 or 12 schools are loaded with talent.”
“The talent level down here is just different,” said former Dolphins All Pro Jason Taylor. “In some places people [just] play football, kids play football. Down here football is a way of life.
With so much talent, it will be hard to pick just one standout but the CBS4 Nat Moore Trophy will be handed out to the one player who best represents the virtues of its namesake; ability on the field, character off of it.
“It’s got to be about selfless players, guys that are leaders,” said Moore. “Everything you do is normally with others. Success comes from interacting and working with others, and football or sports in general teaches you that.”
Moore has followed his own advice. He was front and center when the Dolphins helped replace football equipment that his high school alma mater had lost in a fire.
While there, Moore made sure that the next generation of footballers got an even bigger message.
“As much as we’d like to think football takes you to the promised land, it’s what’s up here [points to his head] that takes you to the promised land,” he told the students. “You only play football for so long.”
The CBS4 Nat Moore Trophy will become an annual tradition in South Florida.
“To have something named after you is truly, truly honoring,” Moore said. “Especially in a game that you love so much.”