- Staff Reporter
- NSU linebacker Kyle Moore (35) intercepts a pass during Saturday’s game at Houston Baptist. Credit: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services
NATCHITOCHES – While at a spring football practice at Navarro College in 2018, Kyle Moore caught Northwestern State defensive coordinator Mike Lucas’ eye.
When Lucas returned to Navarro for the spring game, another Moore did the same. This time, it was Mitchell Moore, Kyle’s father who played safety at Sam Houston State during Lucas’ tenure as the Bearkats’ defensive coordinator.
“I’m watching their spring practice, and there’s Kyle Moore,” Lucas said. “I didn’t put two and two together at that point. At their spring game, I saw Mitchell and said, ‘What are you doing here?’ He said, ‘My son’s Kyle Moore.’ I put two and two together at that point
“I was watching Kyle and thinking he was playing really well. He was the MVP of their spring game, and he’s been a good player for us.”
In the Demons’ 48-21 loss at Houston Baptist on Saturday, the younger Moore did something no Demon has accomplished in nearly three years. Moore recorded a sack and an interception against the Huskies, becoming the first NSU player to record a full sack and an interception since JeMarcus Marshall did so against McNeese on Oct. 22, 2016.
Moore added five tackles against the Huskies and was named Northwestern State’s defensive MVP for the week. In his first season as an outside linebacker, Moore has checked the boxes Lucas wants from his outside linebackers. Moore has 15 tackles, a pair for losses, one sack, one quarterback hurry and one interception.
“He has to be physical enough to hit like a linebacker but athletic enough to cover in space,” Lucas said. “He’s that hybrid guy. He’s not as fast as a safety needs to be, but he is very physical for that linebacker spot. He recognizes plays well. He’s a good blitzer.”
Although the family connection was not clear to Lucas at first, it did not take long for it to emerge.
Even before Kyle Moore changed his jersey number to 35 to match his father, there was intangible evidence he was his father’s son – at least in Lucas’ eye.
“Their work ethic (is similar),” Lucas said. “Their attitude. They’re both yes sir, no sir. You can coach them hard, and they’ll get after it. They respond well to coaching.
“You can tell Mitch raised Kyle old school. Nowadays, you coach some kids hard and they pout. Kyle doesn’t. He’s been parented hard and raised that way. He’s got a work ethic in the weight room and the offseason program like his dad had. Michell was a good player for us, and Kyle’s cut out of the same mold.”
The second Moore to be coached by Lucas has taken well to his new position, which allows him to return a bit to the positional roots he shared with his father.
“It’s fun,” Moore said. “I have a background as a safety, and I get to drop in coverage, rush the passer and make tackles. I enjoy it.”
When it comes to which portion of the position description he enjoys most, Moore was democratic.
“As long as I’m on the field, that’s all I care about,” he said.
Just as Lucas had an idea of what to expect from Kyle Moore once he learned of his lineage, the same could be said for the player understanding his defensive coordinator.
Three-plus decades of coaching molded Lucas, and his coaching style remains the same between the two generations of Moore men.
“I heard stories about him all my life,” Kyle Moore said. “There isn’t really one thing in particular. He’s a pretty stern guy. He coaches us hard. That’s what I knew going into it.
“When (he and his father) talk after a game, he’ll talk like a coach. Everything coach Lucas taught him is instilled in him. I hear the same things from him that I hear from coach Lucas, which is kind of cool.”
Article sourced from provided press release.