MINOT, N.D. - Minot State Kicker and Punter JoseLuis Moreno is the latest in the line of All-American special teams players to wear a Beavers jersey.
Moreno said he wanted to blaze a new trail as a college football player.
"I was a California kid. I was excited to get a scholarship outside of California. I told my parents [and] they told me I was crazy, but I was adventurous," Moreno said.
That led him from the West Coast all the way to Minot State, and his background as a multi-sport athlete helped mold his craft as a kicker.
"I'm a soccer-style kicker, [so] that transferred over to my field goal kicking. Soccer helped me immensely and [rugby's] a tough sport you just [have to] keep fighting," Moreno said.
Moreno has racked up honors as an All-American since finishing his senior season, and Minot State Head Football Coach Mike Aldrich said he feels fortunate to have coached him.
"His biggest development I think because he already had the God-given talent was just his mental toughness and being able to overcome mistakes and failures and not let them affect him going forward. All the different statistical things that he's done over his career has been huge for us... Just to give us an opportunity to be able to grow and try to get ourselves into the rhythm that we need to get to," Aldrich said.
Growing up a Raiders fan, Moreno's childhood dream was to make it to the NFL.
"I'm grateful to be able to get that opportunity and have people watch me and give kids that same dream. If you keep working and you succeed, professional scouts are going to find you. I'm just going to continue to ball out. Work hard, and then you'll make it happen," Moreno said.
Moreno plans to work out at Minot State through May along with working at the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch.
Photo courtesy: MSU Athletics