Moore and Barbon hoping to make impact at pro level

Temple Football players Isaac Moore and Jose Barbon could both be on professional rosters for NFL and USFL training camps.

If Barbon or Moore are selected in April’s NFL draft, it would be the first time a Temple player has been drafted since 2020. | EARL KUFEN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple offensive lineman Adam Klein was scrolling through his Twitter feed when he saw a tweet from the USFL account announcing that his teammate and fellow offensive lineman, Isaac Moore, had been selected by the Philadelphia Stars in the USFL draft on Feb. 21.

“I was just scrolling through Twitter and saw Isaac got drafted by the Philadelphia Stars and I was like ‘I wonder if he knows?’” Klein said. “I figured he would have gotten a call earlier in the day but I texted him and was like ‘You know you just got drafted, right?’ and he was like ‘No, I had no idea.’”

Moore and wide receiver Jose Barbon both have a chance to be on a professional roster for training camp this summer. For Moore, the USFL draft selection will not deter him from continuing to pursue his NFL dreams.

If Barbon or Moore are selected in April’s NFL draft, it would be the first time a Temple player has been drafted since 2020, when former players Matt Hennessy, Harrison Hand, Shaun Bradley and Chapelle Russell were chosen.

Putting players back in the NFL regularly would be a significant accomplishment for a program that has struggled to get back to the nationally recognized level it reached under former head coaches Matt Rhule and Geoff Collins between 2015 and 2018.

Barbon, whose agents have told him he could be drafted as high as the fourth round in the NFL Draft, turned heads during Temple’s pro day on March 22. Barbon’s unofficial 40-yard dash time was 4.47 seconds but scouts told him they clocked him at an even more impressive time, he said.

“They had told me I ran a 4.3 on the first one and then on the second one it was a 4.45,” Barbon said. 

Barbon did not earn much playing time under former head coach Rod Carey. After recording just 26 catches during his first two seasons, Barbon caught 40 balls for 440 yards in 2021. 

With a quarterback upgrade in E.J. Warner and a more pass-heavy offense under Stan Drayton, Barbon enjoyed a breakout senior season, racking up 918 yards and two touchdowns. His 72 receptions were tied for the 28th most in the country. 

Getting to the NFL is still Moore’s ultimate goal, but being selected in the USFL draft gave him peace of mind regarding his future in the United States.

Moore, an Örebro, Sweden native, is in the U.S. on a student visa and would be required to leave the country after graduating if he was not drafted by the Stars. The selection allows him to stay in the country on a work visa and continue his football career.

“It means I can legally stay in America and play football,” Moore said. “No matter what happens, I can still stay in the country legally and then play football so I’m excited.”

When Moore arrived in Philadelphia from Sweden as a freshman in 2018, Moore was still learning how to play the game. He credits Temple offensive line coach Chris Wiesehan for helping turn him into a professional prospect. 

It was through Wiesehan’s coaching that Moore developed into a five-time letterwinner and single-digit player for the Owls, Moore said.

“Coming from Sweden I was really raw,” Moore said. “Football is so different from overseas so I’d say you don’t have to bend them into shape but I had to take my lumps so to say. When I came here, I didn’t know the speed, I didn’t know the technical stuff and then [Wiesehan] really taught me the basics and from that I just took it.” 

If Barbon and Moore are able to advance to the next level, it could lead to Temple having more leverage during negotiations with future recruits. The Owls had some of their best recruiting classes in program history when they were regularly putting players in the NFL like Haason Reddick, Matt Ioannidis, Tyler Matakevich and Dion Dawkins under Rhule and Collins.

If they aren’t selected, Moore and Barbon can sign to an NFL team as undrafted free agents following the draft. The move would allow them to attend a team’s training camp with the possibility to play in preseason and give them the opportunity to earn a spot on a squad’s 53-man regular season roster.

“I showed [the scouts] that I’m a hard worker hopefully,” Moore said. “I’m pretty quick in change of direction and I’m really excited to just start working, for real.”

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