Nate Moody wasn’t supposed to play Division I football. Sure his stats in high school were glamorous, with 1,189 total yards and 13 touchdowns his senior year to go along with a 3A all-state first team honors, but most of the big schools in the state weren’t looking to give Moody a scholarship.
“UND’s coach, at the time, wanted to make Nate into a tight end,” Nate Moody’s dad, Dave, said. “And said, ‘If you gain 50 pounds we can play you at tight end,’ and we’re just laughing. His bone structure is not going to accommodate that.”
The Dickinson, N.D., native had two preferred walk-on offers from North Dakota State and South Dakota State. After building a relationship with former offensive line coach Scott Fuchs, Nate Moody knew being a Bison was the right fit and picked to attend NDSU in 2011.
“To be honest with you, I didn’t grow up rooting for them,” Nate Moody admits. “On Saturdays, NDSU wasn’t on. It was the Auburns, the Alabamas, I mean I sat down on my couch all day and watched football.”
Coming to NDSU was going to be a risk for Nate Moody, especially without a scholarship and any prior knowledge of the school’s deep football tradition. His hard work in fall camp caused him to stick out, and with a little luck and a couple injuries to the wide receiver group, Nate Moody’s redshirt was stripped away his freshman season. Moody would play in 10 games, including the first FCS National Championship game.
“I came out my freshman year and worked really hard,” Nate Moody said. “I think I stood out that year.”
Just as everything was clicking for Nate Moody in Fargo, his younger sister, Ali Moody, discovered her talents as a volleyball player were soaring and she was named a finalist for 2011 Dickinson High School Female Athlete of the Year her junior year.
“My dad is a volleyball coach, so until I was a junior in high school, I was going to Dickinson State University because my dad was the coach, and why wouldn’t I go there?” Ali Moody said. “I never thought I could be a Division I player, that’s why I never really thought about it. Then I was like, ‘I’ll challenge myself and see if I can do it.’”
Dave Moody was the head coach of the Dickinson State volleyball team for 18 years and was assisted by his wife, Kay Moody. They both resigned in 2008 to focus on their three kids’ sports.
But Dave Moody didn’t stop coaching. Today, he gives volleyball lessons and before Ali Moody went to college, he coached her club team.
Ali Moody realized her full potential at an NDSU volleyball camp. She fell in love with the atmosphere and all that NDSU had to offer. The 2012 DHS Female Athlete of the year is entering her junior year and is seeing her time as setter increase with each season.
Nate Moody has been there every step of the way for his sister, answering all of her questions about what kind of classes to take and even where to live near campus.
“Nate has definitely helped Ali with the transition for sure, but Ali has really helped herself with that, too,” Dave Moody said. “As a parent, who couldn’t be more satisfied with two kids at the same institution? Both are getting a great education, both on and off the field I might add.”
Nate Moody is finishing up his studies in finance and economics this year and has been a member of the Missouri Valley Football Conference Honor Roll for four-straight years. Ali Moody is studying dietetics. Both also share a birthday, December 17.
The two Moodys have a little brother, Aanen, who will be a junior this year at Dickinson High School and is hoping for a future on the Bison men’s basketball team.
Dave and Kay Moody visit Fargo every weekend in the fall to watch their kids compete.
“Both of those kids are just internally motivated,” Dave Moody said. “As a parent, you never know how a kid is going to turn out, but you have all kinds of hope. They have not disappointed.”
The Moodys haven’t disappointed fans, either, and have successfully planted their stakes as first generation Bison, waiting to make “Moody” a household Bison name.