|Moody patiently awaits turn for No. 4 Gators|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 16 September 2008 21:11|
There was the ankle injury that cut short his freshman season with the Trojans. There was the logjam at tailback that prompted him to transfer. There was the year he sat out, unable to do much outside watching and waiting for a shot with the Gators. And there was his start to this season: two carries for two yards.
``I still have confidence in what I can do, and if I keep working hard, I feel like I can be that guy that everyone's kind of expecting,'' said Moody, a former Parade All-American and one of the top recruits in the country when he signed with the Trojans in 2006.
``All I can do is stay patient and wait my turn.''
He could get his turn Saturday at Tennessee.
sit the Volunteers (1-1).
It would be a welcome change for Moody, who couldn't recall spending an entire game on the sideline when he was eligible and healthy.
``This is definitely a first, ever, in my lifetime,'' Moody said. ``It's good experience for me because this is helping me grow, and my character is getting a lot stronger from it.''
The 6-foot, 210-pound Texan was widely considered the next great running back at USC. He was the Trojans' leading rusher in the first three games of his college career, and despite missing four games because of a sprained left ankle, finished second on the team with 459 yards rushing in 2006.
But with C.J. Gable, Allen Bradford and Stafon Johnson also sharing carries, and highly touted recruits Joe McKnight and Marc Tyler about to join the mix, Moody decided to transfer. He visited North Carolina and Florida before settling on Gainesville.
It seemed like a good choice. After all, starter DeShawn Wynn graduated, backup Kestahn Moore had fumble problems and Mon Williams had a knee injury. Maybe what Moody didn't realize was that quarterback Tim Tebow and receiver Percy Harvin were essentially running backs, too.
``I really just do what I can do and handle what I can control,'' Moody said. ``Patience in this world, it's almost nonexistent. I feel like the situation I'm in, with all the playmakers we have on the team, I have to stay patient.''
as the fifth player to carry for the Gators in the opener, went about 40 minutes between his two runs and finished as the team's 10th-leading rusher. Punter Chas Henry - yes, the punter - finished with more yards (17) on the ground.
It got worse the following week.
Moody didn't even get into the game against Miami, not even after the Hurricanes shut down smaller, shiftier backs Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps.
``It was just a little disappointment,'' Moody said. ``But there was really no frustration, anger because that's not really going to do me any good. I was really just trying to find the reason, and hopefully this week will be a different story.''
He received about 40 phone calls and 50 text messages after the Miami game, most of them from friends, family members and former teammates wondering what was going on in Gainesville. Moody didn't have any answers; Meyer never gave him a reason for sitting the bench.
But Meyer did approach Moody during the team's off week and assured him he would play in Knoxville.
``We're expecting a lot out of him,'' Meyer said.
By now, Moody knows that. He just hopes to avoid more disappointment.
``I just have to keep working hard and staying patient,'' he said. ``Every rep I get, I have to take it as my last.''