Randy Moss: Loved by teammates, frustrates coaches

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He also was a two-time state player of the year in basketball and the top prep football player in 1994.

“He is the greatest athlete I have ever seen on film in high school, bar none,” Holtz said. “Nobody like him.”

But in a small state, he was under a microscope. And when he made a misstep, it was magnified.

Notre Dame revoked a scholarship offer after Moss was charged with attacking another student at DuPont High. Moss then turned to Florida State but he never played a down. Moss violated his probation by smoking marijuana and landed in a Charleston jail in 1996.

While Moss was locked up, DiPiero received a phone call in one of the jail offices from Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden, who delivered the news that Moss wouldn’t be welcomed back to school.

“Oh gosh, it was a low time,” DiPiero said. “That was really hard for him.”

Rather than sit out a year, Moss walked on at then I-AA Marshall and scored 54 touchdowns in two seasons.

“You can’t talk to any player that’s ever played with him or been on a team with him that didn’t like Randy,” Marshall coach Bob Pruett said. “Randy was the Pied Piper. People followed him. He’s very likable.”

It’s been in the same in the NFL, where has built a reputation as virtually unstoppable _ when he wants to be. He has amassed Hall of Fame caliber numbers through 13 seasons in the league, but will always be remembered for his “I play when I want to play” comment in his first stint with the Vikings.

He has been traded three times and cut once, with his talent always proving just a little too much for the next team to resist.

Randy’s problem is Randy does not have a great deal of respect for male authorities,” former Vikings receiver and Moss mentor Cris Carter said on ESPN radio. “If you’re wishy-washy, if you’re not a man’s man, if you don’t shoot it to him straight, Randy Moss is going to give you problems. He is sure enough going to give you problems.”

He became such a problem in his second tour with the Vikings that Brad Childress decided to cut him after just four games _ despite giving up a third-round pick to get him from the Patriots in October.

Childress declined to get into details of his decision, calling it “a programatic non-fit.”

“I hate that it happened,” said Moss‘ college quarterback, Chad Pennington, whose Dolphins play MossTitans on Sunday. “I’m sure he hates that it happened. I just hope he’s able to turn things around these last eight games and play really well, except for Sunday.”

Moss was his typical unreadable self at his first news conference with the Titans on Wednesday, saying both that he regretted how things went in Minnesota and growing combative with a reporter who asked what they can expect from him effort-wise in Tennessee.

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