Redskins fans remember Santana Moss as No. 89, the number he wore for 10 seasons in Washington.
But he began his NFL career in a No. 83 Jets jersey, the same number he wore in high school. And there’s a reason for that.
Coming up, Moss wanted to be like Terry Glenn, who died in a car accident Monday at the age of 43.
“It’s sad, man. Honestly,” Moss said Monday in reaction to the news. “Being a young guy, dreaming and believing like a lot of these kids right now, you try to find people to emulate, to look up to. And I was one of those guys, man, being a small guy. I watched football from Day 1, all the time, and I would find people doing what I did, or doing what I wanted to do.”
Before Glenn was drafted by the Patriots in 1996, before he carved his unforgettable 12-year NFL legacy, he was ripping through the college football ranks at Ohio State.
From 1993 to 1995, No. 83 was also shaping the young, impressionable mind of Moss, who was working to forge his own legacy in high school at Carol City (Miami). From college walk-on to first-round pick, Glenn was someone Moss could admire.
“The first guy that ever wore 83, that I paid close attention to, due to the fact that I’m from Miami, was Mark Clayton,” Moss told Chad Dukes on 106.7 The Fan. “And I loved his game and stuff, but I wasn’t a Dolphin fan. And then when I got into high school, I went looking for the number.”
“Ohio State had a receiver, Terry Glenn,” he said. “And he was sporting the 8-3.”
“I was already a fan of Joey Galloway,” he went on. “And then just to see this guy come out of nowhere and spark college football like he did, and then carry it over and be the first-round draft pick to the New England Patriots, I found a love for him and I said, ‘You know, I’m gonna wear that number because of Terry Glenn.'”
“I watched him all throughout the league,” Moss said. “I remember when I first got a chance to meet him and play against him, he was with the Cowboys. Just to hear that he’s gone, man, at 43 years old, is sad.”
“We take a lot of stuff for granted, brother. I swear,” Moss said. “We take a lot of things for granted. Anything can happen to you. Anything in this world can happen to you, man, and stuff like driving in the car, that’s one of the things that I tell my son about all the time. He’s 17 now and he’s driving, got his license and stuff, and I tell him I pay attention to everybody on the road, because you can be doing everything right, and there can be one false move by someone else, or someone who don’t know how to drive, or who’s scared, who’s panicking, whatever.”
“You have to watch and be careful, just to pay attention to the other drivers,” he added. “You’ve got to be careful out there.”