One of eight-year-old Preston Coburn's prized possessions is a baseball with Blake Moore's autograph on it.
Preston idolizes Moore. He wants to be just like him when he grows up.And if his dad, Ogden High football coach Steve Coburn, has his wish come true, Preston will.
But then, who wouldn't want their boy to be a straight-A student, a school officer and an Eagle Scout who is also active in community service and in church, as Moore is?
Moore throws the football pretty darn well, too. The 6-foot-6 senior, who was just named Academic All-State, also plays basketball and baseball for Ogden.
Preston picked a pretty good hero.
"He's a role model," says Coburn of his starting quarterback.
Because of his achievements both on and off the field, Moore has been named winner of the Utah Wendy's High School Heisman award for seniors who are "scholar-citizen-athletes."
Winning an award, however, isn't what motivates Moore.
When he has the time, he enjoys helping others. For his Eagle project, he collected books in his neighborhood for a homeless shelter in Ogden. Moore also likes to help his friends work on their projects by cleaning up parks and such. In addition, he spends time at the hospital, reading to children ho can't do so for themselves.
"It makes you feel better about yourself," he says.
With a cumulative 4.0 GPA, Moore has to hit the books pretty hard for himself, too. Getting nothing but A's isn't easy, considering he's taking several AP classes and a college physiology/anatomy course. He wants to be a pediatrician.
"You gotta manage your time well just to keep up with it," says Moore, who's also the senior class vice president. "And a little brown-nosing (the teachers) never hurt anybody."
Which might explain why Moore received a standing ovation from the Ogden faculty when Coburn announced that he had won the Utah Heisman award at a meeting. That's no surprise, since Coburn says Moore is popular with just about everyone at Ogden - administration, teachers, students, and especially teammates.
"He's polite and conscientious of others," adds Coburn, who's coached Moore for four years. "He has a lot of qualities that make him successful."
Moore is also becoming more
popular with college coaches - for both football and basketball.
"He's on the top of a lot of lists," says Coburn. Among the colleges showing interest in him as a quarterback are Stanford, Utah, Utah State, Weber State, Idaho, Princeton, Yale and Boise State.
It wasn't too long ago, though, that Moore only thought he'd play collegiate basketball, like his brother, Brent, who will return to Utah State after finishing his LDS mission.
Not that following in his siblings' footsteps is anything new to Blake. His three older brothers - Brent, Brian and Brad - each won the coveted "Gold Watch" for being Ogden High's outstanding athlete. Blake is off to a good start to repeating that feat this year. His older sister, Julie, was a cheerleader and softball player.
Blake's size and athletic ability have always made him a natural on the basketball court. He averaged about 12 points a game as a junior, and he fared quite well at the adidas basketball camp in Los Angeles this past summer. USU, WSU and Colorado State are recruiting him for basketball.
Blake said he never thought he'd get recruited for football, so it's been rather flattering to get attention from gridiron coaches as well. His eyes really lit up when a coach from Stanford came to see him last spring and told him that he was one of two quarterbacks the Cardinal was recruiting.
"It makes you real appealing, being 6-6 and having a 4.0," says Coburn. "I think he's the best football player that's ever played here with all those qualities."
Blake faces a tough decision, and likely later this month, when he'll have to choose to play football or basketball at college.
"I wish my dad would just make it for me," he jokes.
If his dad, Dave, wants him to play basketball, he might want to burn the tape of last week's football game. It was the best outing of his career.
Blake threw for 319 yards with four touchdowns against Union to guide Ogden to its first victory in the state playoffs since 1983. The Tigers will need another big game from Blake to beat Emery in the 3A quarterfinals this Saturday at 1 p.m.
His big game last week brought his season totals up to about 1,200 yards passing with 20 TDs and 300 yards rushing. But his leadership and knowledge of Ogden's option attack can't be measured in statistics.
Adds Coburn: "He's a coach on the field."
And a coach's dream off it.