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bsn BSN: It almost ended for Ryan Moeller, now he’s got a bigger chip on his shoulder

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. RSSBot

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    BOULDER – On one October morning last fall, Ryan Moeller went through something that most of us pray we never will be involved in. An automobile accident had him suffering through injuries that he couldn’t even imagine obtaining by playing one of the most grueling sports on the planet.

    Sure, that accident ended his season, which was bad in its own right, but Moeller the football player came second that day. Moeller the person, the student, the bright guy, the Colorado kid who worked his butt off to earn a scholarship, had suffered a pretty serious injury. And the people around him didn’t really know if he was going to be okay.

    The good news is today, almost a year later, that accident is in Moeller’s rearview mirror, and he’s healthy in all aspects of life. The bad news was he had to deal with another challenge. If anyone could deal with a challenge it was Moeller.

    The 6-foot-1, 210-pound redshirt junior safety from Rifle, CO. hasn’t ever had anything handed to him. He was the seventh-leading rusher in the nation in 2012, his senior year of high school with 272 carries for 3,002 yards and 43 touchdowns. That wasn’t enough to earn him a scholarship from the University of Colorado.

    He didn’t give up on his dream of playing for the Buffs. He joined the program as a preferred walk-on, playing in all 12 games in 2014. He had flashes on the field that were bright. That, combined with his outstanding effort, which all his teammates constantly note, was enough for him to earn a scholarship prior to fall camp in 2015.

    Last year, his impact was felt big-time. He started the first seven games, and he made 47 tackles in those contests, flying around the secondary and quietly becoming a key cog for the Buffs during their three-game win streak.

    But on October, 19, he suffered that accident, ending his season and derailing the stellar progress he had made as a football player.

    “It’s been a real rollercoaster,” Moeller said with a reminiscent laugh. “This whole career here has been. I’m ready to go now; I’m ready to be a star in my role. That’s something the coaches have preached to us, we’re not gonna get everything we need, and things aren’t always gonna go the way we want, but you can star in your role.”

    Last year he shined bright in his role, helping the Buffs taking home the Centennial Cup in the Rocky Mountain Showdown. In the game against rival Colorado State, he had 11 tackles (eight solo).

    “We all grew up watching these games, we all grew up watching the showdown, you start rooting for one team and for me it was the Buffs,” Moeller boasted. “Being able to be a part of this team and to be a part of this game is pretty awesome. Coming out with a victory is what we want, and it puts you on cloud nine. It’s almost like winning state, then you go okay, ‘we went 1-0 this week now let’s go 1-0 next week.’ The more time you spent here at CU, in Boulder, in Colorado you come to understand what the Showdown really means.”

    Friday night is big for Moeller as a Colorado kid. But, for him, it means more to get back on the field for the first time after not knowing if that would ever happen again.

    “I’ve always prided myself on being a hard worker and definitely after having that accident… I came all this way, and it was such a letdown, it was so unfortunate,” Moeller reflected. “But looking back on it, it has added an extra chip on my shoulder. When I’m out here I don’t want to be on the bench, I don’t want to be in the training room, I want to be out here with my teammates and my brothers, so I definitely think I’ll be playing more aggressively because you don’t know when it’s gonna end.”

    “For me, it came pretty close last year.”

    Jake Shapiro
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