Albany State safety Dexter Moody leaps for an interception during Saturday’s win against Elizabeth City State. Moody now has two interceptions and one fumble recovery this season. (Reginald Christian/Special to The Herald)
ALBANY — Dexter Moody still has at least six games left in his senior season at Albany State, but NFL teams are already lining up to talk to the Rams’ star safety.
And what they are telling Moody is what he has dreamed of hearing for years.
“The Cowboys told me I am going to have a good shot (to get drafted),” Moody said on Tuesday. “I just have to keep doing what I’m doing and stay healthy, and I feel like I will have a legit shot.”
Scouts from the Cowboy and Jacksonville Jaguars have watched the Rams practice and then sat down with Moody this season, but the list of teams interested in the linebacker-turned-safety will likely grow as the 2014 NFL Draft approaches.
“Those are the two teams who have sat down and talked to me,” Moody said. “They like my size and speed, but I do have to get bigger and stronger.”
Moody said the Cowboys and Jaguars have told him he would get drafted as a safety, a position he was moved to by ASU coach Mike White when he joined the Rams last season.
“He has a good shot (to make it to the NFL),” White said earlier in the season. “Anytime you are a Division II football player, you have to have a good (senior season). He has to play better than he played last year, and I think he is capable of doing that. He has all the tools. He just needs to be Dexter. No pressure, he just needs to play his game. And the NFL will take care of itself.”
Moody has picked up right where he left off after a junior season when he finished third in the nation with seven interceptions — two of which he returned for TDs — and also had two fumble recoveries and 48 tackles. Through three games this season, he has two interceptions, one fumble recovery and 12 tackles.
Defensive back Keyon Nash was drafted in the sixth round by the Raiders in 2002 and is the last former ASU star to play a snap in the NFL.
FROM THE DENTIST TO THE GRIDIRON: Moody walked out to the ASU practice field on Tuesday with his helmet in one hand and a towel pressed up against his mouth with the other hand.
The native of Twin City had two teeth pulled earlier in the day and, incredibly, still suited up for practice just hours later.
“It’s not hurting right now,” he said as he walked out to practice. “It’s just numb.”
One extraction was a wisdom tooth, but the other tooth was removed after being chipped at a practice last month.
“You pretty much have to love the game to come out here and do this,” Moody said.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Rams running back Adrian Alexander rushed for a career-high 126 yards and a TD on 10 carries in Saturday’s win against Elizabeth City State, and on Tuesday the junior was named the SIAC Offensive Player of the Week.
“I had a pretty decent game,” he said. “I just read the holes, and the guys made the blocks for me. I kept my pads down and just kept moving.”
Alexander, a Macon native, has 142 yards this season and averages a team-high 7.9 yards per carry, but offensive coordinator Steve Smith believes the junior rusher hasn’t come close to his potential yet.
“He is learning,” Smith said. “He is not where we want him to be and is still learning the process. He made some key reads for himself (Saturday), and he is learning that. If you look at Game 1, he didn’t make those same cuts, so every day at practice he is understanding and learning.”
‘NOT SMART’: Alexander seemingly rushed for his first touchdown of the season with 2:25 left in Saturday’s game when he broke free for a 41-yard score.
The officials, however, said he only made it 40 yards.
Alexander fell to one knee as if in prayer after he thought he scored, but the officials ruled that he dropped to a knee on the 1-yard-line and never crossed the goal line. To make matters worse for Alexander, he was hit with a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct because of the celebration, taking the ball all the way back to the 16-yard line.
“That was called not smart,” Smith said. “That’s what that was called.”
On Tuesday, Alexander still believed that he had crossed the goal line.
“I was so excited to get into the end zone and get a touchdown … I was just so excited. I thought I was in there,” he said. “When he threw the flag and told me I was one the 1-yard line, I was like ‘C’mon ref. I was in there, man.’ After that I knew I had to make up for it because it would look bad on me.”
Two plays later Alexander redeemed himself with a 14-yard touchdown run to cap the Rams’ scoring in the 34-13 win.