When you picture an NFL, or any football player, in your mind, you might picture a human wrecking ball, like Lawrence Taylor, or Aaron Donald. Maybe you think of a statuesque quarterback like John Elway or Tom Brady. By comparison, former NFL wide receiver/returner J. J. Moses' diminutive stature would lead you to believe they only way he was getting near the NFL was if he bought a ticket to a game.

Quite the contrary, however. After attending Waterloo East High School and graduating at Iowa State University, Moses signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2001 as an undrafted free agent. After a stint with the NFL Europe, Moses found himself back in the American league, where he enjoyed some sustained success as a kick/punt returner for the Houston Texans.

Photo Credit: Brian Bahr, Getty Images
Photo Credit: Brian Bahr, Getty Images

At 5'6'', Moses was listed as the shortest player in the NFL during his era. He's exactly the same height as former Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen, and just an inch shorter than Super Bowl-winning running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

I was fortunate enough to speak with J. J. Moses on the phone for a conversation about his football playing days and his "second act," so to speak. The Waterloo native is currently in the midst of promoting his new book, Focused: The Prepared to Win Mindset, via Fidelis Books:

When his playing days were over, Moses brought the “Prepare to Win” program to his former NFL team’s front office, where it quickly evolved into the league’s gold standard curriculum for motivating players to exceed their potential and become effective leaders. Thoughtfully weaving professional insight with emotional and spiritual guidance, Moses has now tailored his step-by-step strategy for a wide audience, unlocking the previously untold secrets to consistent high performance. As much for aspiring leaders as experienced executives, Focused is the blueprint for taking yourself, your team, and your community to the next level. - a summary of Focused via Amazon


Moses talked about his time in the NFL, the great Dick Vermeil, who was Moses' coach during his stint in Kansas City, and how you can apply the principles of his new book, Focused, to several aspects in your life. Of course, being a Waterloo native, Moses also shared some fond memories of facing Dubuque schools, such as Hempstead and Senior, in sports.

Take a listen to my interview with J. J. Moses below, and read more about his book, Focused, on Amazon:

Iowa Born Sports Stars

What do each of these stellar athletes have in common? They all hail from the Hawkeye State.

Gallery Credit: Johnny Marks

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