football Edit

SIGNED: S Paul Moala

Mishawaka (Ind.) Penn safety Paul Moala has submitted his National Letter of Intent to Notre Dame on Wednesday.

RANKINGS

Rivals: 2.0-star (No. 20 player in Indiana)
BGI GRADE: 3.0
UPSIDE GRADE: 3.5

MEASURABLES

Moala ran a sub-4.5 40-yard dash at Notre Dame’s Irish Invasion camp this past summer.

STATISTICS

SENIOR SEASON: Recorded 79 tackles, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery on defense. Also had five return touchdowns and two touchdown receptions.

HONORS

SENIOR SEASON (2017)

• IndyStar Mr. Football Defensive Back
• Northern Indiana Conference Most Valuable Player (voted by NIC coaches)
• NIC first-team defensive back
• Selected to 2018 Polynesian Bowl

JUNIOR SEASON (2016)

• NIC first-team defensive back

RECRUITMENT

POWER FIVE OFFERS: Notre Dame, Iowa, Nebraska and Vanderbilt.

Moala committed to Notre Dame Oct. 22, shortly after the conclusion of his official visit. The local product was recruited primarily by defensive line coach Mike Elston, defensive coordinator Mike Elko and special teams coach Brian Polian.

Notre Dame offered Moala following his performance during the program’s Irish Invasion camp this past summer. The defensive back took his time with the process and made multiple trips to Notre Dame over the summer plus for the Temple and Georgia games this fall before making a decision.

NOTABLE

• Born Jan. 31, 2000.
• First local product to sign with Notre Dame since wide receiver Daniel Smith (2010) from South Bend (Ind.) Clay.
• He is the first player from Penn to receive an offer from Notre Dame since offensive lineman Braxton Cave (2008).

2018 PROJECTION

Moala is unlikely to push for playing time at safety next season, but he could have an opportunity to make an impact on special teams.

BGI ANALYSIS

“There is a lot to like about Moala, who might not grade out as a future starter, but he has some traits that make you want him on your football team. He tested extremely well this summer at Notre Dame’s Irish Invasion, running a 4.45 and performing well in position drills. That earned him an offer, but he doesn’t always show that kind of speed on the football field.

“He is a quality athlete, there is no doubt about that, and if he can start showing that speed on the field with greater frequency he could easily outplay this ranking and current projection. He is a hitter, and he is an instinctive player, so he is constantly around the football. At the very least he should develop into a strong special teams player and a rotation player on defense.

“Players like Moala won’t impress fans who look at stars, but having players like this brings value. With him you know you are going to get a high effort player, you are going to get someone willing to do whatever he is asked to do and someone who at the very least will become a key part of your special teams units.” BGI football analyst Bryan Driskell

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