Tall order for Moye

The 6-foot-5 WR would like to net 1,000 receiving yards in senior year

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State wide receiver Derek Moye is a man on the move.

He needs only 22 catches and 266 yards this season to crack the school's Top 5 lists in both categories, but the mark Moye covets most is snagging 1,000 receiving yards in a season.

Only one receiver in the Nittany Lions' previous 124 seasons has accomplished that feat.

Bobby Engram, the inaugural recipient of the Biletnikoff Award as the country's top receiver, did it twice. He finished the 1994 season with 1,029 yards and followed that with 1,084 yards in '95.

Moye hopes to join Engram in that exclusive club.

"I'd love to get 1,000 yards this year -- that is definitely a goal of mine since it's so rare," said Moye, a fifth-year senior from Rochester High School. "But, if I only get 500 yards and we have team success and win a lot of games and go to a good bowl game, that will be OK with me, too."

Moye, 6 feet 5 and 210 pounds, had 785 yards receiving in 2009 and 885 yards a year ago, when he was an honorable mention All-Big Ten Conference selection.

He has 1,741 career receiving yards, to go with 104 receptions, 15 touchdowns and a 16.7-yard average per catch.

Moye had at least one touchdown catch in seven of the final eight games last year and will attempt to build on that in his third season as a starter.

"I'm definitely ready to go," Moye said. "This is my last shot at it."

Moye not only was Penn State's go-to guy last season, he was quarterback Matt McGloin's favorite receiver. Seven of Moye's touchdown receptions were thrown by McGloin, who is battling Rob Bolden for the No. 1 job in preseason camp.

"[Derek's] a tough guy to match up against for any cornerback," McGloin said. "He's 6-5 and he's going to run a 4.3 40. He's a tall guy, he's got great hands and he's going to make plays.

"I know that he's my best matchup, so I'm going to try to go to him.

"If I'm starting, I kind of need him out there. He's been doing a great job in our offense the last couple of years. He's experienced and he knows how to see the field and play the game the right way."

Moye, who sat out the Blue-White game this spring due to a concussion, has worked with three starting quarterbacks since cracking the lineup in 2009.

He said he does not care if it is Bolden, the favorite to win the job again, or McGloin throwing to him this fall.

"I think the ball will be there no matter who the quarterback is, and it's on me to get open," Moye said. "I'm comfortable with both guys. I think the team will do well with either one of them in there.

"They're both working and fighting for the starting spot. It's going to be up to them to prove to the coaches that they're ready to play. I'm hoping the competition will end a little sooner than it did last year."

Moye is one of seven returning offensive starters for Penn State, which finished 7-6 a year ago and will face seven 2010 bowl teams this season.

Junior receivers Justin Brown and Devon Smith also return. Brown started eight games in 2010 and had 33 catches for 452 yards (14.0) and a touchdown. Smith made six starts and grabbed 27 passes for 363 yards (12.7 avg) and a touchdown.

Other receivers vying for playing time include redshirt sophomores Shawney Kersey, Brandon Moseby-Felder and Curtis Drake, provided he is cleared to return from a broken leg.

"We have a lot more experience on offense," Moye said. "A lot of the guys who were playing and starting last year were first-year starters and weren't really used to the level of football that's played in the Big Ten.

"All the seniors, I think we're ready to go. We realize it's do or die for us. We have an opportunity to do some good things out there and we're working hard to do it.

"Our schedule is tough, but I think it's a great thing. We got to go out there and play our best game every week, and that's what you want to do."

Ron Musselman: rmusselman@post-gazette.com .


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