- Associated Press - Friday, December 10, 2010

Kellen Moore’s childhood coaches remember him spending his free time scouring the Internet for any information about offensive game plans.

He played video games, not only trying to make the sweetest spin moves but also with an eye toward how the plays were designed, different formations and what options might be open against a certain defense.

“He always loved watching film and studying football,” his father Tom Moore said in 2008.

By the time he was a freshman in high school, Moore was already calling his own plays.

Even coming from little Prosser, Wash., the record-setting Boise State quarterback seemed destined to be great.

But a finalist for the Heisman Trophy?

“Yeah, I don’t know if anybody knew he was going to be this special,” Boise State coach Chris Petersen said.

When Moore arrives in New York for Saturday’s Heisman Trophy presentation, he’ll enter a rarified fraternity of finalists from non-Bowl Championship Series schools. Since BYU’s Ty Detmer won the honor in 1990 only seven players from outside the big six conferences in college football have even finished in the top five in Heisman voting, the last being Hawaii’s Colt Brennan, who was third in 2007.

Moore will become the second Boise State player to finish in the top 10 of the voting, joining Ian Johnson in 2006.

“It’s amazing, you go from little old Prosser and before you know it you’re having the opportunity to go to New York for really the greatest possible award in college football,” Moore said this week. “It’s amazing how a few years can provide so many opportunities.”

While most of the focus this year has centered on Heisman favorite Cam Newton, Moore has efficiently put together another remarkable year that by the end will likely surpass his nearly flawless sophomore season in almost every category.

In 12 games, Moore has thrown for 3,506 yards, 33 touchdowns and only five interceptions. While he doesn’t lead the country in any one category, Moore ranks in the top 10 in six different categories _ ahead of Newton and Stanford’s Andrew Luck in five of the six.

The only passing stat where Moore trails Newton: pass efficiency rating. Newton is at 188.16. Moore is at 185.0.

“Every time I put the tape on, even when I watch him play, I go ‘Wow, I forgot about that,’” Petersen said. “There’s obviously some smart football people that are watching and voting on these things. If everyone got our game film and was watching him with a fine-toothed comb they’d be even more impressed.”

With a year to go, Moore already owns most of the Boise State record books. He’s the school’s all-time leader in yards passing (10,528), completions (803), touchdown passes (97) and 200-yard passing games (33). It would take a dramatic final year for Moore to approach Timmy Chang’s NCAA record of 17,072 yards passing, but there is a more impressive record that Moore could own by the end of his senior season: Colt McCoy’s NCAA record of 45 victories as a starter.

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