Former Penn standout Paul Moala announces plan to transfer from Notre Dame

Tom Noie
ND Insider

GLENDALE, Ariz. – A former area high football standout believes it's time for a new college football challenge a little further away from home.

Two serious injuries to former Penn High School standout Paul Moala has limited his ability to make a difference at Notre Dame. On Saturday, Moala announced plans to transfer.

Notre Dame linebacker Paul Moala, who earned Northern Indiana Conference North Division most valuable player honors as a prep senior at nearby Penn High School, announced plans to transfer.

A Mishawaka native, Moala announced the decision on social media Saturday 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 transferring  "due to unforseen 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 the third-string rover linebacker behind Jack Kiser and Isaiah Pryor.

There's something about Florida State and Moala's Achilles' that don't mix. The previous season, Moala suffered a season-ending torn right Achilles' in the home win over Florida State.

This season's injury was hard for everyone all around.

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

A senior academically, Moala is listed as a junior athletically, which means he'll have at least two seasons of eligibility remaining.

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

Moala has been limited to four games the last two seasons because of injury.

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