Every Saturday during his redshirt senior season, Brian Moore was entrusted with possibly the least glamorous responsibility on the gridiron—snapping the football.
Absorbing hit after hit from opposing defenders on every play, a center at the Division I level faces grueling challenges, but Moore never complains about the nature of his responsibilities on the football field. The Coral Gables, Fla. native is often described by his coaches and teammates as the consummate workhorse.
“Brian has always been a great worker,” head strength and conditioning coach Noel Durfey said. “He’s the kind of kid that you just point him the way to go, and he’s going to get it done. He’s just a good kid that likes to work.”
The lone senior on Duke’s starting offensive line this season, Moore played an integral role in the unit’s success, allowing quarterback Sean Renfree to be sacked just 19 times in 12 games for the third-highest scoring offense in program history.
Starting every game as a redshirt freshman and sophomore at right guard, Moore made the switch to center before his third season of eligibility for the Blue Devils. As usual, Moore did not gripe about changing positions midway through his college career, but rather faced the challenge head on.
As the team was in final preparations for the 2011 season, everything changed when Moore broke his arm on Aug. 12, just three weeks before Duke’s season opener. He missed the first six games of the year due to the injury, appearing in just three contests before reinjuring his arm and losing the remainder of his junior season.
With just one year of college football remaining, Moore was never discouraged by missing nearly an entire season in the prime of his career. Durfey said that during workouts in the summer of 2011 prior to breaking his arm, Moore could bench press 330 pounds and squat over 500 pounds for the first time in his career. Facing considerable challenges in rehabbing from the injury made Moore’s ascent back into Duke’s lineup that much more rewarding.
“He had prepared so hard at that point,” Durfey said. “He was almost 295 pounds and in great shape. Physically, he was ready to have a really good year. But again to Brian’s credit, he never wavered. He never showed that he was really frustrated by it. He went about what he had to do, took it one step at a time and just went after it.”
After months of painstaking work, Moore returned to the field at full strength for Duke in his senior year, starting every game for the Blue Devils in 2012. Durfey proudly added that Moore was able to return to full form in the weight room as well.
Following a 6-6 season in which he played a crucial role, Moore is set to become a part of the lasting legacy that Duke football’s Class of 2013 will leave on campus—the first senior class to play in a bowl game in 18 years.
“Thankfully for me, [Senior Day] isn’t going to be the last game I ever play,” Moore said. “I can save that and put it off for a month for the bowl game. I think we’re all kind of excited that thankfully this isn’t over.”
As a member of David Cutcliffe’s first recruiting class at Duke, Moore has witnessed significant changes since he first stepped onto campus as a freshman in 2008. In addition to the improvements that the Blue Devils have made on the field, Moore noted that the biggest difference he has noticed at Duke has been the atmosphere in Wallace Wade Stadium.
“We’ve always had a great opening game. The fans always come out and support the opener,” Moore said. “But this year I think is the first year that we’ve seen that kind of consistent fan base throughout all of our games here at home. It’s been a lot of fun to play in front of.”
Although Moore’s future job prospects are outside of football, the skills in work ethic and leadership that he learned as a part of his Duke football experience will translate to his future challenges. After graduating from Duke last May, Moore has pursued a masters degree in economics, hoping to take his talents to the world of business.
“He’s a diligent guy and a great communicator,” Durfey said. “Whatever Brian Moore decides to do he’s going to be very successful in doing it. He won’t let himself not be.”