Moore back despite early setbacks

Washburn quarterback Vershon Morre powers his through University of Central Oklahoma’s defense. Moore is known for his checkered background, but is now a criminal justice major at Washburn.

The journey at Washburn has not been an easy ride for Vershon Moore the junior running back, after playing only one season of football in his life, the quarterback from Midwest City, Okla., was recruited to play at the collegiate level by Pittsburgh University, Washburn, Emporia State and other small schools.  

It was then Washburn Coach Chris Brown, who currently coaches at Fort Hays State, that ultimately tipped the scale for Moore when he was weighing his options. It is indisputable that Brown had a positive influence on Moore, but there would be another coach who would make a much larger impact.

Moore started his college career as a physical education major and had two consecutive football seasons as a running back, putting up incredible stats.  

However, the 2011 involvement in a bank robbery led to Moore’s sentencing to over two years in jail.  He felt he had lost everything he cared about in his life, football being one of the most valued aspects. For most people and most programs this would be true, but Moore is not most people, and Washburn University football is not most programs.

After Moore’s release in 2013, Coach Craig Schurig took the initiative in giving Moore his life back.  

“Coach Schurig stuck with me through thick and thin,” said Moore.  “He was willing to give a guy a second chance.”  

Saying football had a deeper meaning to Moore would be an understatement. Moore says football was something he lived for, and Schurig’s understanding and faith in him, despite past mistakes, gave him a second chance to be around friends and family.

Moore is now a criminal justice major.  Anyone who speaks to him on the matter would know he is very passionate about his new path.  He wants to focus on helping the youth, possibly working in juvenile corrections. From his experience, Moore will be able to reach troubled adolescents on a level that very few others could.  Moore also has hopes of being a motivational speaker.  

This coming fall will be Moore’s final season.  If the pattern of his stats continues, Moore will break the all-time school record for most rushing yards. Moore says that even if he does break the record, when he looks back on his football career 20 years from now, it won’t be the record he’ll remember.  It will be his second chance.  

Both Moore and Schurig expressed how close they have become. Schurig knew that Moore’s past was a mistake, not a flaw in character. Schurig says that Moore had outstanding character that was visible since the day he arrived at Washburn.  

Moore will graduate leaving Washburn, and new players will come and go over the years, but the impact Schurig has made in Moore’s life will affect the both of them forever.  

Moore has learned more than can be put into words over his college career, but he has one message he says to people now and will continue to tell others for the rest of his life.  

“Take advantage of the opportunities in front of you, because tomorrow’s not a promise,” said Moore.