Sunday, August 20, 2006

Modesto Bee: Former Central Catholic star Justin Moye following in dad's footsteps at Cal


BERKELEY — He had admired the scene countless times since he was old enough to walk — the California Golden Bears charging from the tunnel and into Memorial Stadium, the band playing, the cannon booming and the crowd cheering.  Justin Moye wanted to see the goose bumps on his arms and feel the adrenaline rush, the moment all football players take with them the rest of their lives. His father, Jeff Moye, starred for Cal 30 years ago and no doubt instilled some of the same football DNA into his son. "It's a feeling you can't replace," Justin said.  Like father, like son.

Both graduated from Central Catholic. Both relished pad-to-pad impact, football's drug. And, in the end, both gravitated toward defense in Berkeley.

It's not exactly a revelation that Jeff Moye influenced his son's selection of Cal. What couldn't have been predicted, however, was Justin's unlikely journey from walk-on, to special-teams warrior to, today, a starter at outside linebacker as he begins his junior season. "He's made the most of his chances, but that's Justin," Jeff said. "He's made it kind of special to go back there to Cal." Justin's climb justifies his risky choice three years ago. He passed on a full-ride scholarship to UC Davis, where he probably would have logged playing time as a freshman, for a virtual stab in the dark at Cal.

"Financially, Davis would have been better for my parents, but in my heart, I always wanted to run out of that tunnel at Cal," Justin said. "It was the hard road, but I took it." The hard road was filled with speed bumps and chuckholes. He redshirted in 2003, saw zero action in 2004 and finally emerged last fall on special teams and as a reserve linebacker. His turning point took place at the beginning of preseason camp last year when he ditched his No. 56, which he wore his first two seasons, for No. 16. Jeff's number.

Read the entire article here.


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