South Miami LB Korey Moss following in his family’s footsteps

Santana Moss, Sinorice Moss and DeMarcus Van Dyke all used their speed to make it to the NFL.

Korey Moss is hoping his strength will be the ticket to follow in his family’s footsteps.

Moss, a 5-9, 220-pound senior linebacker at South Miami, is the nephew of the Moss brothers — stars at Carol City and the University of Miami — and a cousin of Van Dyke, a former Miami Monsignor Pace star who plays with the Oakland Raiders.

“I’m one of the biggest ones in the family,” Moss said. “My uncles and my cousin were fast and played wide receiver in high school. But I’m the powerful one. I’m the one that likes to kill the guy running with the ball.”

Moss showed his strength and skill as a linebacker to record more than 100 tackles and 10 sacks last season in a breakout year for him and the Cobras.

Moss led Miami-Dade County in tackles for the first seven weeks of last season before being hobbled by an ankle injury. His efforts were key during a turnaround season in which South Miami won its first playoff game since 1987.

Moss keeps in contact with Santana when his schedule with the Washington Redskins permits, and with Sinorice, who currently plays for Saskatchewan in the Canadian Football League.

Although Korey said he doesn’t have a college picked out yet, the University of Miami, where his three famous relatives played, is a school he grew up watching.

“Even though I’m not the same type of player they are, I learned a lot from watching them growing up,” said Moss, who would like to study veterinary medicine in college. “They’ve taught me how to stay focused when I’m on the field and what to do off it so I can make it big in life.”

Moss has yet to attract offers from major colleges but is hoping a big senior season to follow up last year’s performance will draw more attention from college recruiters.

Moss will still be a key cog for South Miami, which changed coaches in the offseason, hiring David Gray following the departure of Lamont Green to Southridge. Gray inherits a defense (led by Moss and senior linebacker Matt Delavega) that returns several starters.

The Cobras will have to account for the loss of some major weapons on offense because quarterback and all-around athlete A.J. Leggett graduated and leading running back Johnny Hankins transferred.

If a new quarterback emerges, he will have a solid receiving core led by junior Keyshaun Taylor.

Moss believes there is still enough talent to keep the Cobras in contention for another playoff run in District 14-8A.

Columbus is the heavy favorite to win the district again, coming off a state semifinal appearance in what was its best season since 1982.

But the Cobras (9-3 in 2011) appear to have as good a chance as last year to vie for the runner-up spot with Coral Gables, Miami High and Coral Park.

“We lost our coach from last year, but we’ve been doing well with Coach Gray, and we pretty much have the same team,” Moss said. “We expect another great season if we keep showing our dedication and heart.”

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