Temple University football coach Rod Carey was surprised to find out sophomore offensive lineman Isaac Moore was from Sweden.
“We’ve got a foreign left tackle and that is foreign to us because I was thinking if they even played football over there,” Carey said.
Temple has the only two Swedish football players in the American Athletic Conference. Freshman offensive lineman Victor Stoffel is the only other Swedish player on the team.
Moore has been playing football in Örebro, Sweden since he was 15, he said.
A friend told him an under-15 football team needed “bigger players.” After his first practice, Moore said he “fell in love with the game.”
The Owls found out about Moore through the company Premier Players International, Moore said. PPI is a European company that helps international football players receive athletic scholarships from American universities.
PPI holds camps where players can participate in athletic testing. PPI records the participants’ times and scores, creating an athletic-testing profile.
This profile helped Moore entice American teams, he said.
“I was athletic for my size,” Moore said. “So [PPI] wrote to a bunch of colleges saying, ‘Hey, I got this 6-foot-7 guy ready to play in spring of 2018.’”
Temple offered Moore a spot on the team after his first visit in 2018, he said.
Moore believes his transition to the U.S. was made easier because his father, Ronald Moore, is American, and Moore has spoken English his entire life.
The hardest part of Moore’s transition to America was adapting to the way football is played. He played against older and stronger opponents while in Sweden, but American players are much faster, he said.
“If you’re 28 and you have been going to the gym for 10 years you’re gonna be strong, but you aren’t gonna have that quick twitch and get off speed that some people have over here,” Moore added.
Moore was named a starter for the Owls’ season opener against Villanova in 2018, forcing him to adapt to the speed of American football right away. Moore played in every game last season and started in the first two games of this season.
Despite being successful in 2018, Moore still feels as though he has a lot to learn from his more experienced teammates on the offensive line, he said.
Graduate offensive lineman Jovahn Fair has seen a positive effect on the offensive line as a group since Moore’s arrival last year.
“We have that chemistry, and we have trust and belief in each other,” Fair said. “When you have a lot of that, good things happen. We have a lot of respect for one another in that room and helping each other out.”