Thursday, June 17, 2010

TYLER MOELLER CLEARED MEDICALLY

(Photo of Tyler Moeller by The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)

COLUMBUS — Ohio State senior defensive back, Tyler Moeller, has been cleared medically to play football again for the Buckeyes, according to a spokesperson in the university's athletic office.

Moeller suffered a major head injury last July in Florida while on vacation with his family, after being punched from behind and striking his head on the floor of a bar he and relatives were visiting.

Moeller would miss the entire 2009 season because of complications from the assault. In fact, the complications were so devastating that the OSU coaching staff wasn't sure if Moeller would ever play football again.

Well, on Thursday, the Buckeyes received news from Moeller's family physician that he is now cleared for full contact.

Moeller participated in drills during the Buckeyes' spring camp in April, but did it while donning a non-contact blue jersey. He wasn't cleared to play in the spring game, either.

However, the former Cincinnati Colerain star looked sharp in scrimmage drills and displayed the quickness and instinctive play that the Buckeyes' coaching staff have been salivating over for the past couple years. Moeller will compete for a starting safety spot this fall, along with Orhian Johnson and Jermale Hines — the two players who ran with the first team during spring camp.

Moeller is also the favorite to play the nickel spot — or as the Buckeyes call it the "star" position — which should showcase the senior's athleticism and tenacity against both the pass and the run. He is also an excellent pass rusher, who can play outside linebacker if needed.

Listed as a senior on the roster, Moeller will seek a medical redshirt from the NCAA, which will give him a sixth year of eligibility in 2011.

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