Aug. 10, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Spartan long snapper Steve Moore, who suffered a season-ending neck injury during a diving accident last month, returned to campus on Friday to see his teammates in preseason camp.
"I'm feeling good - I'm moving a little stiff, but I'm happy to be walking and talking, so I'm blessed with that," said Moore. "It was good to be welcomed back with open arms.
"It's awesome, like being reunited with the family. I miss those guys. Two weeks away from here feels like an eternity. It's great to be back, it's like I'm home."
Moore, a native of Pinconning, Mich., earned his first letter with the Spartans last season after playing in three games, and was the starting long snapper in the 2012 Outback Bowl win over Georgia. He was projected to compete for the starting position during preseason camp, along with incoming freshman Taybor Pepper.
"We have to run 20 gassers to get into camp, and I told Coach D that I never wanted to run 20 gassers more in my life than I do now," said Moore. "I know that it's rough, but now that I can't do it, you miss it. Never take anything for granted, that's for sure."
Speaking in the lobby of the Skandalaris Center, Moore outlined the recovery process for his injury.
"In the next two months or so, I kind of have to take it easy," he said. "No serious workouts or anything like that; a lot of walking. Then after that six-to-eight week period, bones will start the fusion process, and in six months to a year, that fusion will be complete. So in about two months or so, I'll be living a fairly normal life, but I can't do anything too extreme. But I can take that. As long as I'm walking still, anything is OK with me."
Moore also had a message for the thousands of people who swim every year in the lakes around Michigan. He suffered the accident, in which he fractured his C4 vertebra, while diving off the back of a boat and landing on a sandbar.
"Know where you're at - that's the most important thing," he said. "I dove in with a buddy, I've done it all summer long, and sure I know the water, but it changes. You can't control that. It's something you need to be aware of and it's extremely important. I don't want anyone to have to go through this surgery, let alone live life in a wheelchair because of some dumb accident. If you can take anything away from this, just know what you're doing. If you're going to dive in, you better know it's deep enough."
Lastly, Moore wanted to thank Spartan Nation for all of their support during this tough time for him and his family.
"I can't say thank you enough to everyone - friends, family, coaches, teammates and complete strangers," said Moore. "Cards, calls, texts, e-mails, tweets, people writing on your (Facebook) wall, anything, I can't even thank them enough. I'm laying in the hospital bed and that's the only communication I have with anyone is reading these cards. Especially from the teammates, that was pretty near and dear. Obviously, I had my family there, but just complete strangers taking time from their day to just wish me well, it means so much. People say that all the time, but I truly mean that. I just want to personally say thank you to everyone that wished me well."