Florida state

The linebacker has missed much of the past two seasons with Achilles injuries

GLENDALE, Arizona – A former top soccer player thinks it’s time for a new college football challenge a little further away from home.

Notre Dame linebacker Paul Moala, who won the Northern Division’s Most Valuable Player honors in the Northern Indiana Conference as a prep senior at nearby Penn High School, has announced his intention to transfer .

A native of Mishawaka, Moala announced his decision on social media less than three hours after Notre Dame lost to Oklahoma State in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.

Moala wrote in his Twitter post that he was being transferred “due to unforeseen circumstances”.

“The journey continues …”

The 5-foot-11-1 / 2, 222-pound Moala missed most of the 2021 season after suffering a torn left Achilles tendon in the opener at Florida State. He started the season as a third rover linebacker behind Jack Kiser and Isaiah Pryor.

There is something about Florida State and Achilles de Moala that doesn’t mix. The previous season, Moala had suffered an Achilles tear at the end of the season in the home win over Florida State.

The injury this season has been difficult for everyone.

“It was devastating,” former Irish coach Brian Kelly said after Moala’s injury in 2021. “It was an emotional locker room (at Florida State). He had worked so hard to get back on the pitch. We love Paul. He was a guy we counted on. He will be sorely missed. “

Academically senior, Moala is listed as an athletically junior, meaning he will have at least two seasons of eligibility left.

In 23 career games at Notre Dame over his four seasons, Moala made 22 tackles with a tackle for a loss and a forced fumble. He made five career-best tackles, the team’s third-best, in the 2020 home opener against Duke.

Moala has been limited to four games in the past two seasons due to injury.

Follow South Bend Tribune and NDInsider columnist Tom Noie on Twitter: @tnoieNDI