TCU safety Caylin Moore was ready to talk to some youth football players about chasing their dreams.
Instead, they became participants in a surprise award presentation Monday night to recognize his selection to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, which honors college football players for community service.
“It was a true surprise. I had no clue,” Moore said with a smile after receiving the trophy from Jeff Hiemenz of Allstate in front of the Southside Hornets following their practice at Fort Worth Wyatt High School. “I asked him why he was here, he said, ‘Oh, I just came to check it out.’ I was like, ‘That’s mighty suspicious.’ So yeah, it was a true surprise.”
The 25-member honor team was announced in September.
Moore and a handful of TCU teammates including linebacker Ty Summers, defensive tackle Aaron Curry and receiver John Diarse took turns speaking to the young players as representatives of SPARK, an organization started by Moore in January.
“Literally the night after the bowl game, we were talking, we were like, ‘We’re doing good things on the football field, let’s do something good in the community,’ ” Moore said. “We got the idea to use our platform as athletes and inspire kids. I think it’s really important and highly impactful.”
Moore, a senior from Carson, Calif., who transferred from Marist to TCU in 2015, told the young athletes to do the best they can in whatever they do, even if it is menial work like sweeping a floor.
Later, he explained to reporters he performed janitorial work at Marist to help keep his school funding after a back injury knocked him out of football.
“I had the mindset that when I’m mopping and sweeping, I want whatever spot I’m mopping and sweeping, people are going to come across and say Caylin Moore must have been there because that is spotless,” he said. “Because everything he does, he does to the best of his ability.”
According to a press release from Allstate, Moore “spent portions of his childhood homeless after his mom left a volatile home plagued by domestic violence.”
In addition to serving as president of SPARK, Moore helps with a local chapter of the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation’s Adopt a Child program.
In 2014, Moore studied in England at the University of Bristol. In 2015, he attended Princeton through the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy as part of the Public Policy and International Affairs Program.
Moore, who said he has applied for a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford, said he wants to work in educational policy whether it’s on a federal, state or local level.
“I’ve seen how important education is and how it can change a life,” he said.