In this week’s Conversations with Clayton, I chat with former Cincinnati Bearcats great and current Hamilton Tiger Cats quarterback Hayden Moore.
During his tenure with the Bearcats, Hayden Moore commanded some high-powered offenses and helped rewrite the program’s offensive record book. He is in the top 10 in virtually every career passing category for the Bearcats and holds the single-game record for most passing yards (557), a feat he accomplished as a freshman against Memphis.
Following his career with the Bearcats, Moore signed on with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League. Moore has been a part of some excellent Hamilton teams. In 2019, Hamilton won the CFL’s East Division with a 15-3 record and advanced to the Grey Cup for the first time since 2014.
In a wide-ranging discussion, Hayden and I discuss his career with the Bearcats, playing professional football in Canada, and Rocket League.
Clayton Trutor (CT): What aspect of your career are you the most proud of?
Hayden Moore (HM): I’m definitely most proud of the 2 game span in 2015 when we played Memphis and then Miami, Fl. Even though we didn’t win in the Memphis it was the game I threw for 557 yards and the record. Then the Miami game was my first start and we won in a nip at night Thursday night game!
CT: Describe the transition from playing in the NCAA to playing in the CFL?
HM: A lot of things are different from American football and Canadian football. A couple of the main things that created the biggest transition were: the wider and longer field, the extra player on each side, and the motion rules for the offense which allow the receivers to start running full speed before the ball is snapped. Those are some of the rules that definitely took some getting used to! I think the biggest thing over all was the extra player on defense. This creates a whole new layer of defenses to learn as a quarterback.
CT: What made you decide to play your college football at Cincinnati?
HM: When I visited Cincinnati for a camp in the summer of 2013 I just loved the campus and the coaches. Those 2 things are what really persuaded me to choose Cincinnati as my home!
CT: How would you compare the fans in the CFL to the fans in major college football?
HM: The fans in Hamilton are amazing and fill up the stadium every game! There are definitely more fans that attend games in college football But I believe the fans are crazier in the CFL.
CT: What are your favorite stadiums in both the US and Canada?
HM: My favorite stadium in the US to play in (Besides the Nip obviously) was Michigan! The stadium was full and so loud. It was an amazing experience. My favorite stadium in Canada is definitely my home in Hamilton. The fans are so amazing and make the environment so great to play in.
CT: What advice would you give to American players that are just entering the CFL?
HM: Learn the playbook as fast as possible and show the coaches that you are serious! It will go a long way showing the coaches that you care enough to learn everything, and when you get your chance in camp you’ll be ready and know what you’re doing!
CT: What has surprised you the most about playing in Hamilton?
HM: The brotherhood that the team has together. It was absolutely amazing how close we became as a team throughout the year.
CT: Can you describe what it was like being a part of Hamilton’s postseason run in 2019?
HM: It was such a blessing and honor to be apart of the Grey cup run this past season. I would always think to myself that the odds that my first team makes it to the Grey Cup are so low and it was crazy that I was able to be apart of such an amazing team and coaching staff that got us there.
CT: What do you miss the most about Cincinnati?
HM: The night games at the Nip are definitely what I miss the most. The atmosphere is electric and I can’t wait till I can experience another night game there soon.
And well of course Skyline Chili. I crave it so much that it sometimes persuades me to take a trip up to see my friends.
CT: Describe your greatest sports video game victory.
HM: Let’s see. I never really got into the regular sports video games. But I do however play a game called Rocket League which is just soccer with RC cars. The the best victory I can think of is when the game was tied with 5 seconds left and I scored a double touch off the backboard with 0 seconds left to win the game. You won’t really understand unless you play but it was amazing.
CT: Describe the worst seats you’ve ever had at a sporting event.
HM: The worst seats I’ve had was actually when I was tailgating outside of Auburn’s stadium when they played Alabama and won off of the short field goal attempt run back. Back then I was a huge Alabama fan and I had to witness hundreds of Auburn fans running around screaming and celebrating. And then to finish off the night I had to watch thousands of Auburn fan roll Toomer’s Corner.
I think back now and see that it was an amazing experience to be apart of.
Thanks for your support of Down the Drive.
Follow Hayden on Twitter: @HMoore2014