ASU safety Dexter Moody says he is staying with the Rams.
COLUMBUS — After an embattled beginning to his college football career, Dexter Moody finally found his home at Albany State.
The star safety, who had a scholarship revoked from Georgia and then was kicked out of Georgia State, landed at Albany State during the offseason and shined during his junior season, finishing with a team-high seven interceptions.
And Moody, who has talent that could soon take him to the NFL, told The Herald on Saturday he’s not shedding his gold and blue jersey just yet.
“Everybody is talking about me going to the (NFL), but I’m living out my college life right now,” Moody said. “I want to finish this out. I’m always going to be a Ram. I won’t be transferring or leaving. I’ll be an Albany State Ram until I graduate.”
Moody went head-to-head against Fort Valley State star WR Chris Slaughter in Saturday’s 38-20 loss. The matchup likely pitted the two best athletes on the field against each other.
Slaughter got the best of Moody early with a 53-yard pass deep in the center of the field that set up Fort Valley’s first touchdown, but ASU’s star safety didn’t get burned again and finished the game with three tackles, including one for a loss.
“Slaughter is a great athlete overall,” Moody said. “He got one on me deep in the first quarter when the ball got lost in the sun. But I can’t make any excuses. He still made the play.”
FROM THE GRIDIRON TO THE DIAMOND: Two of the Rams’ most talented players revealed after Saturday’s loss that they plan on playing baseball at ASU in the spring.
Moody and senior QB David Kooi will suit up for Rams baseball coach Kenyan Conner, who also doubles as the wide receivers and special teams coach for the football team.
“I’m going to try out baseball and see how that goes,” said Kooi, a 6-foot-6 right-hander who plans on pitching. “I haven’t played in a while, but that was really my first sport until I fell in love with football.”
Moody, who plays center field and pitches, said baseball was his “first love” but hasn’t been permitted to play by any other college football program.
NO REGRETS: Kooi had plenty of struggles this season after transferring to ASU from Florida Atlantic less than a month before the season opener.
But the quarterback said he didn’t have any regrets about finishing his college career in Albany.
“I loved every minute I was here,” he said. “I love the people around this school. I love the coaches and met a lot of teammates that I will be friends with my entire life. I just wish we could have gone further than this with each other.”
Kooi won the starting job a week before the season opener, beating out Gardner-Webb transfer Keenan Grissett, but he struggled in the new offense and threw five touchdowns and just two touchdowns in the first four games.
Under Kooi, the ASU offense averaged 20 points per game and was held under that mark five times in the season. He finished with six touchdowns, six interceptions and 1,319 yards. He also rushed for 143 yards and a TD.
Grissett and Rodney Castlin took several of Kooi’s snaps through the season, but the future Rams pitcher said he and his offense never stopped fighting.
“It was so up and down,” he said. “It was up and down all year, but we kept battling and the defense stayed in there and stayed strong. I am just proud to see we battled all year.”