Wes Moyer was the big man on campus when he was a senior on the Alameda High football team in 2007, despite being slightly undersized for a quarterback and middle linebacker.
That final season as a Hornet embodied just how much he meant to the football program. He threw for 808 yards, ran for 670 yards and had 121 tackles on the defensive side of the ball.
Then he got to college. After a late recruiting process brought him to Yale, Moyer was no longer a big fish in a small pond.
"I definitely didn't know what to expect coming from high school," Moyer said. "I went from being one of the best players to being low on the totem pole. It's a big transition to go from being the man, to being the low man."
Moyer discovered as a freshman what it would take to play at the college level. But bad luck struck at the beginning of his second season when he dislocated his right wrist on the first day of practice.
That meant two seasons would go by without him playing a varsity game.
"Those first two years were weird, weird years," Moyer said. "You go from training for a single purpose, something that defines you, to not being able to play at all."
Moyer eased back to into action during spring football of his second year. He still had a long way to go as he could see his reads were slower than they needed to be. His third year, which was his redshirt sophomore season, saw him receive limited playing time as a backup.
It was following
"Over that summer was definitely the hardest I have ever worked," Moyer said. "It's cool being the starter and having the young guys looking up to because you are one of the leaders."
Moyer comes from a family of football players, and being the youngest of four, he learned a lot from his brothers Kemp, Jarrett and Ramsey. Kemp, now the head varsity coach at Alameda, set the tone for the four of them.
"He was definitely a great older brother," Moyer said. "He was the trailblazer and he set the precedent. He's a standup guy and he's a really good coach. In whatever I do, I should follow his example, and I'll be successful."
Following his brother's example has led him to playing football in the Ivy League, a league with a rich and proud tradition, and on Nov. 19, he'll get to take part, as a starter, in one of the oldest rivalries in sports history when Yale faces Harvard.
"I still haven't thought much about it because it's the last game, but it will be awesome," Moyer said. "It's an experience that's tough to explain, and this year I'm going to get the full experience of it."