Former Freedom High quarterback Diondre Borel is now a wide receiver for the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers. And Sterling Moore, who played cornerback for Deer Valley, signed on with his favorite team – the Oakland Raiders.
Both players signed shortly after the end of the NFL lockout and are currently at training camp with their respective teams.
Borel graduated from Utah State after throwing for 6,698 yards and 36 touchdowns in three years as the Aggies’ quarterback. The fleet-footed Borel also ran for 18 touchdowns in college.
Members of the Green Bay area media have remarked that Borel has made great strides in moving from the quarterback position, although receiver is not a new role to Borel, who started at wideout at Freedom and Utah State before being moved under center. Though he’s competing for a reserve wide receiver job, his athleticism could help him secure a slot on special teams and as an emergency quarterback.
Moore, a Southern Methodist grad, is also preparing for some action on special teams. Though a knee injury limited him to only eight games in his senior year with the Mustangs, he made the team’s only interception return for a touchdown that season. He had drawn interest from the Indianapolis Colts, but had a feeling he’d be more comfortable returning to California to sign with the Raiders.
“It’s like a dream come true,” Moore said. “I didn’t think I’d get a chance to be in this situation, but I worked my butt off to get back.”
In Moore’s junior season with SMU, after transferring from Laney College in Oakland, he broke up a team-high 11 passes and registered 35 tackles.
“Sterling has some characteristics that I truly admire,” Raiders head coach Hue Jackson said. “He is one of the players that I see flash everyday. I can’t wait to see him truly compete in a game because I think he is going to stand out.”
Signing with Oakland also meant a reunion with Taiwan Jones, his teammate at Deer Valley, whom the Raiders selected in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. The familiarity has helped Moore transition into pro life. “You never think that out of all 32 teams, we’d be on the same team,” Moore said. “It’s comforting to look around and see people you know.”
The speedy Jones will battle for playing time at the running back position, but also could see some action as a kick returner. He signed his contract on Sunday.
Training camp has been a rough learning experience so far for Jones, who was unceremoniously smacked by defensive tackle Richard Seymour in the first practice. Two days later, leg pain from a tackle by hard-hitting linebacker Rolando McClain forced Jones to watch from the sideline.