By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Rookie safety ready to contribute for Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons selected William Moore in the second round of the NFL Draft. - photo by Associated Press
William Moore has a reputation as a ferocious hitter on the football field. He’s intense, almost frighteningly so. It’s one of the reasons the Atlanta Falcons picked him in the second round of April’s NFL draft. But off the field, Moore says he’s “just the average guy you see at the grocery store.” Moore, who’s battling second-year safety Thomas DeCoud to replace departed starter Lawyer Milloy, spoke with Times sports editor Brent Holloway after a recent team workout about the best halftime speech he never heard, his past and possible future in music, and his impressions of life in the NFL so far.

QUESTION: Tell me about where you grew up (Hayti, Mo.).

ANSWER: There’s a lot of pride in Hayti about what I’ve got going. Sports is a big deal down there — that’s all we got.

Q: It’s a small town?

A: Yeah, small town. I’d say there’s about 3,200 people there.

Q: What is that, a Class AA high school?

A: Oh no, it’s Class A. (Grades) 7 through 12, I’d say there’s about 380 students.

Q: You weren’t quite this big when you came out of high school. What did you play when you got to Missouri?

A: I actually played corner.

Q: When did you grow into a safety?

A: Actually, I played safety in high school and I had a good feel for it. But they wanted to try me at corner (in college.) Then I gained 10 pounds after I got there and got up to 215, so I was a little too big for a corner.

Q: Up to this point in your career what’s your favorite football memory?

A: I’ll have to go with the semifinals in high school, right before the (Edward Jones) Dome game. We were down 14 points at halftime and we had fought so hard to get there. Coach didn’t say anything to us at halftime. He held up a picture of the Dome, which was the St. Louis Rams’ stadium and where we were going to play next if we won. So he just held up that picture and didn’t say anything, and we went out and dominated in the second half.

Q: Tell me about your family.

A: I think I’m the backbone of my whole family. I’ve got two sisters, five brothers and I’m in the middle. I love ‘em to death. My grandma raised everyone. She’s one of those grandmothers that looks out for the whole community. When she cooked it wasn’t just for us, it was for everybody in the neighborhood.

Q: I understand that when you were in college you had a bit of a music career that was starting to take off for you. What’s going on with that now?

A: I’ve been doing music since I was 11 or 12. I always thought I could rap, make beats, sing. I was choir director at church; that’s where I started from. I could write music, and I started writing for people. But I haven’t seen one single successful athlete-slash-musician. So I’m kind of looking to write for people, not doing the actual performing, because I haven’t seen any success in it yet.

Q: So do you play any instruments?

A:Yeah, I play the tuba, which is where a lot of the instrumental sounds in my beats come from.

Q: Did you play in the band in high school?

A: All four years. Funny story, actually: After I got to Missouri on a scholarship my band director was kind of upset. He said if I didn’t get a scholarship for football, he had one for me in band.

Q: If you couldn’t play football, would you be pursuing a career in music?

A: Definitely. That’s a dream I’ve had, and something I’ve been doing a long time. I didn’t want to just put it away, you know, but I’m definitely focused on nothing but football now. Music’s just a hidden talent I have, that maybe I’ll expose someday.

Q: How much work is it for you right now, learning the playbook and doing everything else that goes along with being an NFL rookie?

A: Oh man. Of the 24 hours in the day, it takes about 21. Even in my sleep I’m working on it, but I love it. It’s a challenge and I love challenges. Like for every other rookie, it’s gonna be pretty tough at first, pretty challenging, but I love it, man. I can’t wait to get everything down pat and understand the organization, the system and how things work and take off from there.

Q: Did you have any clue that Atlanta would be where you ended up?

A: Man, my friends call me a psychic. I just had a feeling. In the whole draft process, after I left here from meeting and whatnot, it was just like college — I had that good feeling about the coaches, and about (general manager) Thomas (Dimitroff) and what he said to me and what kind of players he wanted. I definitely felt like I fit what they were looking for. I just felt like if I was available in whatever round, I was sure that this would be a great fit, and they would be glad to have me and I would be glad to come here.
Friends to Follow social media