MIAMI — Needless to say, former Northeastern Oklahoma A&M punter Cole Moos was stunned when he saw the fifth-inning message on the Kauffman Stadium Crown Vision on Aug. 18.
“Congratulations on your KU football scholarships! Mazin Aqi, Beau Lawrence, Cole Moos, Reese Randall”
“It was definitely a special night, one that I will never forget,” said Moos, who earned all-Southwest Junior College Athletic Conference second team honors as a Norseman in 2015.
The news came on “KU Night” when the Kansas City Royals faced the defending American League champion Cleveland Indians.
The whole Jayhawk football team was there, signing autographs before the game. Junior defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. threw out the first pitch.
“We were a little surprised in the middle of the fifth inning,” said Moos, who thought he was going to have a chance to embarrass himself by singing karaoke.
“I couldn’t believe it. It took a couple seconds of my jaw dropping and me trying to process what was happening. It was a very emotional thing.”
Moos said he didn’t have a clue that it was coming.
“Our special teams coordinator had talked about it once or twice and he said he would try, that it was a money thing, a number game, and whether there was one (a scholarship) left over,” he said. “They really kept me in the dark. I had no idea what was going on. It definitely was an incredible blessing.”
Moos had a good first season as a Jayhawk, punting 73 times for 3,024 yards, an average of 41.1 yards per kick.
He unloaded an 82-yard punt — the fifth longest in school history — against Baylor on Oct. 15, 2016.
“There was some wind at my back and I was punting from the end zone. I got off a good a pretty good punt,” he said. “The guy who was returning couldn’t get to it in time, it took a roll forward inside the 5-yard line.”
Moos didn’t start punting until his senior year at Broken Arrow.
“I was a little late getting into the game and the coaches at NEO gave me a chance the two years I was there,” he said. “I got to develop as a punter and as a player. NEO was probably the most important part in my development on the field for sure.”
He averaged 37.9 yards on 40 punts as a sophomore and 37.7 yards on 64 kicks his freshman year at NEO.
Moos is one of four former Golden Norsemen on the Kansas roster this season: senior kicker Gabriel Rui of Hinton, redshirt sophomore cornerback Justin Williams of Bixby and junior cornerback Antonio Cole of Edmond North
Rui earned all-SWJCFC honors as a sophomore with the Norsemen and Williams played seven games as a freshman before transferring to KU.
Cole earned honorable mention all-SWJCFC honors as a freshman then played at Highland (Kansas) Community College as a sophomore.
‘It’s cool having some Norsemen up here,” Moos said.
The Jayhawks open the 2017 season Saturday, Sept. 2 at home with Southeast Missouri State.
This will be Year 3 of David Beaty’s tenure as KU’s head coach.
The Jayhawks were 2-10 a year ago, 1-8 in the Big 12
“Coach Beaty is definitely a great leader for our team and he’s the one who established the culture and it’s trickled down from there,” Moos said. “He’s got it headed the right way, the right direction.”
Moos was named to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll this spring and the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll in the fall of 2016, when he was named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention by the coaches and was honored as the conference special teams player of the week for his showing in the Baylor game, when he also unloaded a 73-yard kick as part of an eight-punt, 403-yard day.
“We have been working hard,” Moos said. “Everybody has bought into the culture and bought into the process. I think things are really looking up.”