Kellen Moore knows what it’s like to play in a small town.
The former Prosser High School quarterback, who went on to star at Boise State before hitting the NFL, wants to be able to give back to the area in which he grew up, and impress upon the players that they too can play at the next level.
Moore, 26, will hold his second annual Kellen Moore Passing Academy on Friday and Saturday at Richland High School. The camp is for quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends in grades 7-12. The cost is $90 for the two days. Registration ends Wednesday.
“Last year went really well,” the Dallas Cowboys quarterback said. “Hopefully I can relate to them. I’ve been in their shoes, and I’ve been able to move on to college and the NFL. I hope to help them with their development and have people from outside our area see them.”
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Along with Moore, the camp will feature Richland assistant and former Prosser coach Tom Moore, Kellen’s father. There also will be players and coaches from the University of Washington, Boise State, Idaho, Eastern Washington, Eastern Oregon and the NFL’s Cowboys and Detroit Lions.
“We surround them with a good group of coaches,” Kellen Moore said. “It’s another example for kids to see others who have gone on to succeed. It’s a fun deal. In our area, there aren’t a lot of camps. I’m happy I can bring this to our neighborhood.”
The $90 fee for two days also keeps the camp within budget for most. Each player also will receive a gift package that includes a camp T-shirt, and there will be camp giveaways.
“By no means did we want it to be expensive,” Moore said. “Keeping it under $100 makes it affordable for two days of workouts.”
After a stellar career at Boise State, where he led the Broncos to a 50-3 record over four seasons, Moore was not selected in the 2012 NFL draft, but the Detroit Lions picked him up as a free agent. He was part of the Lions’ 53-man roster for three seasons but was never active for a game.
Detroit had signed Moore to a two-year deal in March 2015 worth $1.825 million, including a $340,000 signing bonus, but the Lions cut the 6-foot, 200-pound left-handed quarterback Sept. 5.
“That’s the NFL,” Moore said.
Not to worry. The Cowboys scooped him up a few days later.
“I think it was a good change,” Moore said. “It takes you outside your comfort zone. I really enjoy Dallas.”
The Cowboys took a liking to Moore as well. They signed him to a two-year, $1.42 million deal, and with an injury to Tony Romo and poor play by Matt Cassel, Moore finally got his shot.
He played in his first regular-season NFL game Dec. 19, and started the final two games of the season. He became just the fifth Cowboys quarterback to throw for more than 400 yards in a game when he had 435 in a 34-23 loss to the Washington Redskins.
“That was huge,” Moore said of his playing time. “I feel fortunate to be able to play. Tony (Romo) going down was unfortunate. By no means was I perfect, but I made progress.”
And wearing the iconic star on the side of your helmet?
“It’s one of the most recognizable franchises in the world,” Moore said. “Every road trip is taken over by Cowboys fans. There is excitement everywhere you go.”
Even after a year in Dallas, Moore wasn’t able to bring a couple of Cowboys teammates to camp with him.
“This time of year, we only get a couple of weeks off,” Moore said.
Moore will arrive Thursday with his 22-month-old son, Kyler, while his wife, Julie, will remain at their offseason home in Utah with daughter Halle, who was born in April.
“It’s been busy around here,” Moore said. “Been quite the circus. We always love to be able to get back and visit. All four grandparents are there, and I think Kyler will get spoiled rotten for a couple of days. He will love it.”