Bo Moos was destined to play college football the moment he first saw the bright lights of the world.
When he was born in Pullman, Wash., Dennis and Marilyn Erickson brought him a Washington State letter jacket. When he played at the Pflugrad house with Amanda, now a reporter for FOX Sports Arizona, and Aaron, now a Sun Devil receiver, Moos would grab Amanda's Barbie dolls and rip their heads off.
"He had the right temperament for football," his dad, Bill, chuckled.
But the cementing moment for Bo's lifelong passion came as a young boy on a road trip with his dad, who was then the athletic director at Oregon. The Ducks were playing at Cal, and Bo asked his dad to get him a sideline pass so he could experience the action up close.
On a punt return, a Cal player came flying over the sideline and literally ran Bo over.
"He just flattened me," Bo said. "The guy felt so bad that he put his hand down to help me up. As I got up, I looked at him, I looked around and I thought, ‘This is awesome.'"
Moos (6-foot, 279 pounds) was a second-team all-state player at Sheldon High School in Eugene, Ore. Aside from his defensive line prowess, he scored 18 touchdowns as a massive fullback because he simply ran people over.
Moos got a college scholarship offer from Erickson, who was coaching at Idaho. There were also a handful of other Division I-AA schools that showed some interest, but Moos wasn't recruited by a single I-A team.
"He shouldn't have been. He was a little fat-ass," said Arizona State defensive coordinator Craig Bray, whose affection for his favorite players is often expressed with blunt statements. "We were good friends with his dad and we took a chance on him."
Moos and Aaron Pflugrad had taken a recruiting trip to Idaho together, but a short time after Erickson offered them scholarships, he informed them that he would be taking the job at Arizona State.
"He said, ‘You might hear from me, but you should really look at this school. Idaho's a great institution,' " Moos said. "He was honest with us, but I just crossed my fingers and hoped I would hear from him."
He did. Bill Moos was concerned that Erickson hadn't even watched film of Bo, but Erickson told him: "I believe he's made from the same stock as his dad and family. That's good enough for me."
Moos didn't play much early in his career. He redshirted a year, he had some health issues, he had some academic issues and he was woefully unprepared, both physically and mentally, for the rigors of big-time college football.
"He was immature, as a lot of freshmen are. Bo was a guy who had to learn what it takes," Bray said. "We told him, ‘Bo, you've got to get in the weight room. You've got to do a lot of things to get yourself into being a football player, and to his credit, he did it and he's worked his way into being a pretty doggone good football player."
Because his dad is the AD at Washington State, Bill hasn't seen Bo play much during his college career. He made it down for the USC game earlier this season when Bo turned in perhaps his best college game, complete with his first and only career sack.
Bill will be on hand for the Sun Devils' final game against Cal in Tempe, but this week will be special. Moos gets a chance to play in Martin Stadium, in his hometown, in front of an adoring public.
Bill said he'll have 18 to 20 relatives in a suite with him. He'll also have an overflow suite for more "extended family." Included in that group is Erickson's mother, Mary.