USC's defensive MVP, Zeke Moreno didn't know what to expect heading into the recently held NFL draft, but when his phone rang and he learned that he was a San Diego Charger, he could hardly believe his ears. Moreno, the 6'2" 245 pound linebacker out of USC by way of Castle Park High is the younger brother of Chargers quarterback Moses Moreno. Both brothers are excited about the coming season and the opportunity to compete for spots on the same team.
"Growing up we always just missed each other," says the elder Moreno, a 1998 NFL draftee. "This is not the way I thought things would happen said his younger brother, Zeke, but I'm not complaining. You've got to enjoy what the Lord gives you. This is it! You can beat it," he added.
After leading the 1996 Castle Park Trojans to a 13-0 season and a CIF championship, Zeke Moreno went on to stardom at USC following in the footsteps of another Charger linebacker, Junior Seau. There, he became a three year starter, the Trojan's leading tackler and eventually a team co-captain. Now he is focused on a new and greater challenge: making the opening day roster of the San Diego Chargers. He took his first steps toward that goal last weekend at the Chargers three day Mini Camp.
"This is tough," he said following Sunday's workout. "It's more physical and there is a larger mental part to the (pro) game. In college and high school you just run and hit people, here you have to prepare mentally and react faster."
Moreno's versatility may help him land a spot with the Bolts. In college he played both weakside and strongside linebacker before moving into the middle. He also gained some experience as the Trojans long snapper and as a freshman starred on special teams.
Asked how his brother's presence might help his chances of landing a job Moreno said, " Moses can't go out there and help me physically, but he's been taking me under his wing and showing me the ropes. That's the most he can do, the rest is up to me."
As for the disadvantages of playing in his own back yard, Moreno had a one word answer: tickets! It seems that his new job has made him more popular than ever and brought with it not only a bunch of new "friends," but an even larger number of ticket requests. "Everybody wants tickets!" Moreno said amused by his recent spike in popularity. Not making any promises, he simply said, "my family knows that I will always be there for them."