Langston Moore knows what it takes to be successful. He also knows what it takes to have a body that is well-equipped enough to be able to compete in the National Football League for seven seasons.
When the current Gamecock football radio sideline reporter closed out his time in the NFL he knew he wanted to help out the Columbia community by continuing to work camps, but he also knew he wanted to show children what eating right and being successful was really all about.
To this end, Moore conceptualized the Eat2Win football camp, which he calls a (FUN)damental camp for children 8-17. Eat stands for Effort, Attitude and Technique and during the one-day camp Moore and his grouping of South Carolina All-Stars focus on showing those in attendance what it takes to a have healthy lifestyle to go along with eating habits that in turn will combine for long-term success.
A member of the South Carolina football team from 1999-2002, Moore was a sixth-round selection of the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2003 NFL Draft. Moore played for the Bengals (2003-04, 09), Arizona Cardinals (2005-06) and the Detroit Lions (2007-08). He also played with the Virginia Destroyers of the United Football League for one year before retiring.
During his time in the NFL and after Moore spent a great deal of his time working with different charities. After envisioning the idea for the Eat2Win football camp for quite some time, he decided to be the one who spearheaded the special day camp that features a little bit of everything in motivational speakers, NFL players, professional football instruction, sports performance coaching, concussion awareness, diabetes testing, blood pressure checks, vision testing, BMI measurements, nutritional coaching and financial consulting. Inspired years ago by fellow Gamecock great and NFL standout Travelle Wharton's efforts to help his community, Moore’s Eat2Win football camp is different also in that they incorporate the parents and guardians as well. The camp also gives the opportunity for the parents to go through some of the life skills and education sessions available while the kids work out on the field.
The special one-day camp is a passion for Moore since he more than understands what poor health and even just normal health screenings can mean to your family due to his father, who was a well-known radio personality in Ft. Wayne, Ind. and Charleston, S.C., passing away from congestive heart failure during his time at South Carolina. His mother passed away a short time ago from stomach cancer.
“What got me involved was that when I was at school I lost my father at an early age to congestive heart failure,” Moore remarked. “He was a bigger guy. Before he got sick he was just a big old athletic guy that played football back in the day. Fast forward and it also affected a lot of the guys that I played football with even on down to players like (former Clemson/NFL defensive tackle) Chester McGlockton and (former Gamecock/Canadian Football League defensive back) Jamacia Jackson, who died in his sleep from sleep apnea. This stuff affects South Carolina.
“I’ve been doing some stuff in the State House with (South Carolina state) senator John Scott here and just always hearing the statistics of South Carolina’s always in the top-10 for obesity, diabetes. That’s just something that kind of gave me more of a push to get involved because I’ve always been doing football camps with Travelle and a bunch of the other guys, but not so much on my own,” Moore continued.
Moore understands and appreciates the platform that being a former Gamecock and NFL player plus his position on the radio with the Gamecocks presently has given him. He knows it allows for greater sustainability for a camp that does things a little different since it provides the family aspect.
“The kids will come out there for football, but we wanted to not leave the parents out so that’s why we offered the free health screenings, the free dentals screenings because a lot of parents come out and they’ll watch and we thought it was a great opportunity for us to really engage them and to try to teach them some new stuff … (and) to give them an opportunity to let us take the kids out and do the nutritional stuff and do all the football stuff, but then also give them an opportunity to learn some new things as well,” Moore mentioned. “Last year we targeted the Colony project houses – 3,000 something families in there – but a lot of them in essence there’s not a lot of access to fresh, whole food so in turn there’s a lot of obesity over there.
“My mother was a teacher so I was aware of all these things, but a lot of that stuff you can improve with diet and just doing different things. That’s where we really try to come in and focus and show them that it may not sound cool to drink carrot juice and kale juice, but that’s something I did as an NFL player. That’s something you never see. All you see is Lebron eating a hamburger and every kid thinks Lebron eats cheeseburgers every day, but he doesn’t,” Moore noted.
Moore is putting a lot of his own money and time into this project, but entities such as the Gamecock Club and other businesses are helping to subsidize whatever he can do for this great cause.
“It’s just amazing the response we’ve gotten from the community, from the legislation,” Moore said. “It’s just all collectively coming together. This year we’ll have the Cocky Reading Express come out there. I’m going to try and push more of the educational tools for the kids, giving them books. Summer retention is always such a hard deal, especially in these lower income areas. There’s a lot of resources, but either they don’t know about it or it’s just not cool … we are just trying to use the camp kind of as a crossroads for resources, education and fun.”
Moore’s holistic approach to his camp also includes breaking down to those in attendance that success is definitely not just characterized by making the NFL or even playing professional sports at any level.
“It’s not guys who just went on to play football (professionally) … I try to give kids different examples of success because everybody’s path is different,” Moore explained. “Even though there’s a Clowney in the group there’s also 99 other guys on the roster. That’s one of the last things before we send the kids home. We have about a 30-minute session where we kind of pull them away from the parents and kind of have a heart-to-heart with them and let them ask as many questions as they want about what did it take for us to be successful … we try to be as open and transparent as possible because the kids learn from it.
“I tell kids all the time (if you get football scholarship), you’re winning. You went to school four years, you got a degree, you’re basically leaving the school with no debt so you’re 10-15 years ahead of everybody else. If you just get going in the direction you want to go you’ll be fine. Even if you do get drafted, the (NFL) lifespan is short. Half the guys I played with were high draft picks, but they were out of the league in two to three years. That is just some of the things we try to show them and give them different pictures of success,” Moore closed.
This year’s Eat2Win camp will be held June 13 from 9-2:30 at Irmo High School in Irmo, S.C. The event is completely free.
If you are interested in helping to further their mission and expand their reach, you can also help out the cause at http://www.gofundme.com/eat2win2015.
2015 Eat2Win coaches
Kevin Rivers (Former Gamecock)
Trevon Matthews (Former Gamecock)
Jon Alston (Former Redskin and Gamecock)
Preston Thorne (Former Gamecock)
Phil Frye (Former Garner-Webb football player)
CJ Frye (Former Gamecock/Current head coach Andrew Jackson
Landon Cohen (Current NFL player with Seahawks)
Shaun Smith (Former Gamecock and 10-year NFL veteran)
Shaun Rogers (Former Texas Longhorn and NFL player)
Jeremiah Garrison (Former Gamecock)
Dwayne Harper (Former SC State star and NFL veteran)
Garrett Chisholm (Former Gamecock)
Eric Stroman (Former Gamecock)
James Scott (Former Gamecock)
Paul Beckwith (Former Gamecock and current strength coach)
WIllis Ham (Former Gamecock)
Troy WIlliamson (Former Gamecock and NFL veteran)
Jonathan Martin (Former Gamecock)
Lance Laury (Former Gamecock and NFL veteran)
Marco Hutchinson (Former Gamecock)
Travelle Wharton (Former Gamecock, current Gamecock offensive quality control coordinator and NFL veteran)
Eric Sullivan (Former Gamecock)
Dennis Quinn (Former Gamecock)
Moe Brown (Former Gamecock)
Fran Person (Former Gamecock, current South Carolina special assistant for student-athlete welfare)
Arturo Freeman (Former Gamecock and NFL veteran)
Cory Peoples (Former Gamecock and NFL veteran and current Charleston Southern defensive backs coach)
Jason Capers (Former Gamecock)
Ryan Brewer (Former Gamecock)
Sheldon Riley (Former Newberry football player)
Na'Shan Goodard (Former Gamecock and NFL veteran)
John Goodwin (Former Michigan player and NFL veteran)
Jon Bradley (Former NFL veteran)
Plus many more not yet confirmed