College Days: Lenny Moore

Hall of Famers Published on : 12/24/2013
Each week throughout the 2013 season, recaps the college days of a pro football legend.

Lenny Moore
Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 1975

Lenny Moore earned the nickname “The Reading Rambler” while playing at Reading High School in Pennsylvania.  The handle was in reference to his fleet and elusive two-way skills as a halfback and a defensive back. 

Lenny is one of six Hall of Famers to play at Penn State. Jack Ham, Franco Harris, Mike Michalske, Mike Munchak and Dave Robinson are the others. 
His great abilities, which included 22 total TDs during his high school career, garnered a great deal of major college attention. In the end Central Pennsylvania’s top runner was convinced by his high school coach Andy Stopper to attend Penn State.

Once on the campus in State College, Moore turned heads as a result of his tremendous athletic ability and world-class speed.

“Two steps and he was going full speed,” Penn State coach Rip Engle once salivated.

The sophomore Moore exhibited those skills in his first year of varsity play (NCAA rules at the time did not allow players on varsity until sophomore year) when he reeled off touchdown runs of 41, 59, and 79 yards and picked up 601 yards from scrimmage that season.

As a junior Moore became one of the elite runners in the nation. He was second in rushing yards (1,082) with an eye-popping 8.0 yards per carry (still a school record) and crossed the goal line 10 times.

The trend continued during his senior year in 1955. Moore spearheaded a 37-14 victory over Rutgers with an 80-yard TD run and a career-best 179 yards on nine carries and three TDs. He ended the season with 697 rushing yards with a 5.1 yard average and 5 TDs

Moore left the Penn State campus as the team’s all-time leading rusher with 2,380 yards, the university’s career all-purpose yardage record holder (3,543 yards) and the single-season all-purpose record holder (1,486 yards in 1954).  His 12 career 100-yard rushing games were the most in Penn State history at the time. He also led the team in interceptions twice, kickoff returns twice and punt returns three times, including a blurry 17.5 yards per return in '54.

“The greatest back I ever coached and the best two-way halfback in the game today,” commented Engle at the end of Moore’s collegiate career.

That was enough endorsement for the Baltimore Colts who selected Moore with the ninth overall pick in the 1956 NFL Draft. He made a huge splash as a rookie with 649 rushing yards on 86 carries (popping more eyes with 7.5 yards per carry) and 8 touchdowns. The slate of work earned him Rookie of the Year honors.

Lenny’s HOF Bio>>>