Senior wide receiver Martel Moore has put together one of the best statistical seasons in wide receiver history at NIU.
This season, Moore caught 71 passes, which is the fifth-most in a singles season, for 1,054 yards, which is fourth-most in a single season, and made 12 touchdowns, which is third-most in a single season. With one game still remaining, Moore could tie or break multiple single-season receiving records at NIU.
Moore is currently tied for the most 100-yard receiving games in a single season, with six. With another 100-yard performance, Moore could stand alone in the history books with seven 100-yard games in a single season.
With two touchdown catches, Moore could tie the single-season touchdown catches record, which was set by Hugh Rohrschneider in 1963, with 14.
Moore could also move into third place or higher for receiving yards in a single season, as he trails Sam Hurd by 20 yards; Hurd recorded 1,074 in 2005.
This season, Moore stepped up to fill the No. 1 receiver role, after the departure of former wide receiver Nathan Palmer.
“It was about taking advantage of opportunities,” Moore said. “Every chance you got, you have to do what you do. Jordan [Lynch], he helped me a lot, the way he ran the ball, it was easy, sometimes, to get everyone in the box, and then it was just one-on-one battles.”
Senior tight end Jason Schepler believes Moore rose to the occasion and did a good job of being a leader for the wider receiving core.
“I think he did a great job,” Schepler said. “You know, with Perez [Ashford] going down a little bit there, he really stepped up for the receiving core and became a leader for them. I’ve watched Martel grow a lot as a person over these last four seasons and this season was one of his best.”
Junior quarterback Lynch couldn’t have asked for anything more from Moore this season, as he was his top playmaker.
“He’s been great; he’s been my go to guy all year,” Lynch said. “Every time we need a play or every time we’re down, he seems to be the guys making the play.”
Chemistry between Moore and his quarterbacks at NIU has been the key to success and the case was no different with Lynch.
“Our chemistry off the field I think is what helped us a lot,” Moore said. “Me and Jordan have been close ever since we came in together. It wasn’t a hard transition from him to Chandler because we always practiced with him. We never called him a ‘2,’ we always called him ‘1.5’ because he could come in at any time and play for us.”
While Moore’s statistics this season are impressive, his career numbers at NIU are just as impressive if not more.
He is No. 2 in career touchdown catches with 23 and career receiving yards with 2,515. He trails Justin McCareins in both categories. McCareins recorded 29 touchdowns and 2,991 receiving yards from 1997-2000.
“I knew I was close to some of the records and being close to the top of the history books,” Moore said. “That was one of my goals.”
With this game being the culmination of his career as a Huskie, this will be a big game for NFL scouts to get a good look at Moore on a big-time, national stage like the Orange Bowl. But Moore is just focused on going out to win the game.
“I just go out there, play and win games,” Moore said. “But it probably does help me a lot and this game will probably help me a lot if I go out there and do what I’ve done all season. Everything is a blessing.”