C.J. Moore used to spend his Friday nights at Union High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, playing the game he loves.
Now, as a member of the Oklahoma State football team, Moore spends the majority of his time playing and practicing football in Stillwater, about 76 miles from his former high school.
For one time only, Moore will get another chance to compete in his hometown when the Cowboys face Tulsa on Saturday.
“I’m feeling really well,” Moore said. “I get to see my boy Shamari, a running back over there, do his thing.”
Shamari Brooks is a junior running back for the Golden Hurricanes and one of Moore’s childhood friends. Brooks and Moore became friends in second grade while competing against each other on the gridiron.
Their relationship blossomed while they were teammates at Union, where it won the Oklahoma 6A state football championship in 2016.
“(We were) butting heads every day, scrimmaging and just grew a close friendship as we got older,” Moore said.
Although they play on the same side of the ball, the banter between Brooks and Moore will continue till the final whistle.
When the two were in high school, the two would trash talk about each other’s future college.
“When we were in high school, we would always go at it,” Moore said. “We were on the same side, at the same time, if OSU was playing and TU was playing I would go ‘OSU is gonna win’ and ‘TU’s not gonna win.’”
Moore isn’t the only Cowboy making the trip back to his hometown. Wide receivers Landon Wolf and Dillon Stoner both call Tulsa home.
While Stoner played at Jenks High School, the redshirt junior was no stranger to TU’s football stadium.
Stoner and Jenks won four consecutive Oklahoma 6A state football championships from 2012 to 2015. Three of its titles were won on the Golden Hurricanes' Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium.
“A lot of great memories in that stadium,” Stoner said. “I’m just excited to get back there and play in front of friends and family again.”
Although his East Central High School didn’t have the same success as Union or Jenks, Wolf said it’s going to be nice to play back home.
TU has an undergraduate enrollment of 3,296 students, the smallest in the FBS. OSU has over six times as many students. Tulsa also serves as one of OSU’s biggest alumni base.
With the number of family members and OSU fans traveling to Tulsa on Saturday, for C.J. Moore, it’ll feel like a home game.
“My family’s coming down so hopefully my team and I can come out with this win,” Moore said.