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Syracuse Football: Freshman RB Moe Neal making the most of his opportunity

Darius “Moe” Neal looks primed to build on strong start for the Orange

Colgate v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

In the second quarter of last week’s Colgate vs. Syracuse football game, Darius Quantavius Neal Jr. broke free for a 49 yard touchdown on his first college carry. Neal is better known to fans and teammates by his nickname “Moe.” Bud Poliquin of gave us some insight as to the origins of Moe Neal’s nickname.

Neal explained that the nickname actually originates from his father’s days of playing football.

“I hear that my dad got the name, ‘Moe’, because when he played football in high school, he used to run the ball a lot. So they used to say that he was asking for ‘mo’ yards. So he got the name ‘Moe,’ and it stuck with him. When I was born, people called me, ‘Little Moe.’ An now it’s just ‘Moe.’”

Moe also went on to talk about his fantastic beginning to his Orange career.

“I’ve always dreamed of making big plays all the time. When I’m sitting in class, or doing homework, I visualize making that big play. I always like to view myself as a guy who moves the crowd and gets the crowd into the game. I wanted to do that the first game, and it happened to be the first play.”

About a month ago, we helped you get to know Moe Neal, and predicted that he might have a fairly significant role in the Orange offense, despite being listed as the number three running back on the depth chart.

It seems as if Babers is going to give the kid a shot. Only time will tell if Moe Neal can keep up his great start in an Orange uniform, but one thing is for sure. Moe does not lack confidence.

“I value myself that when I step on the field, I feel like the best player on the field. Why wouldn’t I? They put their gear on the same way I put my gear on. My dad instilled that in me.”

Whether you want to call him Darius or Moe or anything else for that matter, you can look forward to cheering him and the rest of the Orange on this Friday night, when they host Louisville. He’s currently the team’s leading rusher with 68 yards. He’ll need to continue that sort of production if the Orange are going to have a shot at the upset.