The phone rang quite a few times for Dan Moore on Saturday, but the call he wanted didn’t come until after the 2013 NFL Draft had ended.
The good news is the phone rang really quickly after the 254th and final pick was announced.
“I’m excited, man,” said the Montana Grizzlies’ running back, who is headed to the Indianapolis Colts as a free agent fullback. “They called my agent and my agent called me. I signed as a priority free agent.”
The term priority gets bandied about a bit, but what it generally means is that the Colts, who brought Moore in for an interview April 17-18, didn’t want to wait too long to call him.
Moore, 5-foot-11 and 235 pounds out of Tucson, Ariz., had a productive if injury-marred career at Montana. He ran for 418 yards and four touchdowns on 76 carries last season, but missed five games with an ankle injury.
He ended his Griz career with 848 rushing yards and 12 TDs on 196 carries (4.3 average). He also caught 26 passes for 338 yards and two scores, including his highlight-reel, 87-yard TD against Appalachian State in 2012.
Moore doesn’t know his contract details and didn’t talk to anyone from the Colts on Saturday.
“They just called my agent (Mike Boyer of Washington), and they’re working on the details,” Moore said.
Moore’s Saturday was filled with expectation partly because the New York Jets had contacted him about taking him in the seventh and final round of the draft. They took Tommy Bohannon, a fullback out of Wake Forest, with the 215th overall pick instead.
“I thought I was going to be a Jet for the longest time,” Moore said.
Now he’s a Colt.
“I’m leaving on the ninth (of May), heading to camp,” he said.
Moore is one of two Montana products to sign free-agent deals Saturday: Jon Opperud, who played his senior season in 2011, is headed to the Houston Texans as a free agent. It was not quite a year ago that Opperud was signed by New England, and he also spent time in camp with Seattle before having shoulder surgery.
The Big Sky Conference had one player drafted – Southern Utah quarterback Brad Sorensen, who went to the San Diego Chargers in the seventh round as the 225th overall pick.
Eastern Washington’s fleet of receivers did not get drafted, though Brandon Kaufman signed a free-agent deal with the Buffalo Bills and Nicholas Edwards signed with the Minnesota Vikings.
This year marked the first time since 2009 that a Griz wasn’t drafted. In the last three drafts a total of five were selected: Shann Schillinger and Marc Mariani in 2010, Jimmy Wilson in 2011, and Trumaine Johnson and Caleb McSurdy last April.
Two more Grizzlies, Kroy Biermann and Lex Hilliard, went in the 2008 NFL draft.
Montana State defensive lineman Zach Minter signed a free agent deal with the Chicago Bears on Saturday.
MSU’s 2012 Buck Buchanan Award winner, defensive end Caleb Schreibeis, hung up his cleats after playing in the East-West Shrine game. Schreibeis, who forced eight fumbles last fall, has reportedly taken a job as an electrical engineer for a firm in Bozeman.