Thursday, August 16, 2007

ASU coach Moore finds motivational tool for former wrestler

Appalachian State coach Jerry Moore believes he's discovered how to motivate freshman defensive end Gordy Witte.

When Witte began to tire during a one-on-one blocking drill recently, Moore challenged Witte with his background as a star wrestler at Salisbury High, where he won two state heavyweight titles.

"He was fading a bit," said Moore. "So I yelled at him, 'There's 13 seconds left in the (wrestling) match and you're down by one point!"

Witte grinned at Moore and finished the drill by beating his man.

"He's had so much success as a wrestler, it was great he could draw on that," said Moore.

Witte (6-6, 285 pounds) might be counted on this season for the Mountaineers, who lost three starters on their defensive line to graduation - including All-American Marques Murrell.

But players like Witte and LSU transfer Tim Washington might make those losses easier to take. And another transfer - defensive end Quavian Lewis (Vanderbilt) - hasn't been cleared to play yet, although he is practicing with the Mountaineers.

- David Scott