Nearly half way through the countdown and we’re at another palindrome day...let’s celebrate by looking at one of our defensive studs, #55 David Moa.
#55, David Moa, Junior, DT
Weight: 262 lbs. (-6)
High School: Kearny High School, San Diego, CA
How'd he get to The Blue™?
Moa was a consensus 3-star recruit according to ESPN, Scout and 247sports as well as being included on Scout.com's "Top 10 DEs on the West Coast" list. Moa starred on both the offensive and defensive line at Kearny but was somewhat under-recruited—possibly because Kearny limped to a 1-9 season his senior year. On offense, Moa was named San Diego Section All-Western League as both a junior and senior and defensively was named second-team San Diego Section All-Central League in his sophomore campaign. In 2013, Moa registered 28 tackles and recovered a fumble and the previous year racked up 36 stops, a sack and two fumble recoveries. Moa was also a standout on the hardwood, helping lead his team to a San Diego Section Division III championship as a senior (Moa had 19 points and 18 rebounds in the championship game). Moa held offers from Montana, BYU, Colorado and Portland State and had garnered heavy interest from Oregon.
"The Moa Constrictor"
We did it, fam. An OBNUG countdown nickname finally took hold in the public consciousness and David is indeed known as the Moa Constrictor on the field—with even ESPN using the moniker. There may be some confusion over where the nickname originated, but I think there’s a pretty complete digital paper trail dating back to 2014:
NZ rugby star Akira Ioane
2016 All-MWC first team selection. Started all 13 games for the Broncos in 2016, making 30 stops (10.5 for loss) and 8.5 sacks. Named to 2016 Outland Trophy Watch List, Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List, and Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Player of the Year Watch List. Appeared in 5 games for the Broncos as a redshirt frosh in 2015—registering 3 tackles and a sack. Named San Diego Section All-Western League on offense as a junior (2012) and senior (2013). As a sophomore in 2011, was named to the San Diego Section All-Central League second team on defense. Won San Diego Section Division III basketball championship in 2013. Member of KHS Honor Roll.
If 2016 taught us anything, it’s always listen to the coaches. In pre-season interviews, one name kept coming up again and again as a breakout player to watch and that was David Moa. The buzz around Moa—which was equal to sophomore Kamalei Correa buzz—turned out to be well-founded as David went from 3 tackles (and a sack) as a redshirt frosh to 8.5 sacks and the Mountain West first team in just a year. What Moa will do this year as a junior is anyone’s guess...but he’s a sleeper no more and the sky is definitely the limit.
Moa played like a man possessed in 2016, and I think the results speak for themselves...there are several games you could point to on last year’s schedule that could’ve gone very differently had it not been for David’s heroics, and if some of his supporting cast have leaps anywhere close to the one he took between ‘15 and ‘16, this D-line is going to be special. Asking for improvement on an 8.5 sack season is no small order, but with Moa having autonomy associated with not having to play nose tackle (which he did last season, out of necessity), I think this will free him up to make even more plays in 2017—a positively delightful thought. I’d be rather surprised if Moa doesn’t repeat as an All-MWC first-teamer again this season, and I’m sure he’ll get some buzz as a potential DPOY, and if he has a better season than 2016, he’ll have a difficult decision to make at season’s end, because the secret’s out and NFL scouts are sure to be swarming.
Is he on Twitter?
Finally! And check out that handle (and this sweet highlight video)
Completely NOT made up fact
Moa and the rest of the Broncos helped raise $20,000 last season through the Sacks for Hunger program...nearly half was “chipped in” by Moa himself.