The 2011 Ohio State Buckeyes just got a bit stronger with the news late last week that safety Tyler Moeller was granted a sixth year of eligibility and will be back on the team next year.
Moeller suffered a torn pectoral muscle in an Oct. 2 game at Illinois and underwent season-ending surgery days later. He also missed the entire 2009 season with a head injury he suffered as the victim of an assault at a Florida bar and restaurant in July of that year.
That became the basis for the appeal, the sixth year going usually to those who have shown medical hardship cost them more than one season of playing time.
“It’s great to have another year,” Moeller said. “My mind has been five million different places for the past couple of weeks. It’s great to know I’ll have another year here and another chance to play.”
Moeller, who played the “star” position in Ohio State’s often-used nickel package this season, recorded 20 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, an interception and a sack this season. His return will certainly be a boost for the Buckeyes, who will lose three seniors in the defensive backfield and two at linebacker. Overall that defense is expected to lose seven senior starters.
Moeller said there was a lot of paperwork to fill out and he also had to write a letter stating his own case. The NCAA reviews each eligibility case individually. Moeller has two plates in his head from the surgery required after he was assaulted. Now he has three screws re-attaching his pectoral muscle, which should allow him to regain 90 percent of his strength there.
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