Iowa tight end Tony Moeaki is one of the most physically talented players at his position in the draft, but he remains somewhat under the radar as his collegiate career was marred by various upper-body injuries.
"It was tough, some freak accidents happened," Moeaki said. "Those things are in the past now."
Tony Moeaki wasn't able to complete a full season in college due to his numerous physical setbacks.
"In 2007, I broke a hand, dislocated my elbow and tore a ligament in my wrist all in one play," the talented tight end told reporters.
Moeaki was asked about 2008's injury—
"I broke my foot in fall camp and that led into the beginning of the season."
This year a high ankle sprain cost the former Hawkeye three more games, but Moeaki finally has a clean bill of health.
"All of the physicals today went well. It was just unfortunate that stuff happened, but at least I'm here now."
When Moeaki played throughout his collegiate career he produced in a big way. Despite having nothing close to a pro caliber quarterback in an offense predicated around the running game, the 6'3", 245 lb. tight end saw 11 of his 68 receptions (16.2%) go for touchdowns since his sophomore campaign.
Moeaki tries to pattern his game after another fantastic Hawkeye tight end Dallas Clark, who just earned All-Pro honors as one of Peyton Manning's favorite targets with the AFC Champion Colts.
"I really look up to Dallas," Moeaki said of the former All Big 10 selection. "I've met him more than a couple times. He has great character, is a really nice guy and a really great guy. He's even better at football. He's unbelievable. He had a great year. I wish I could do half the things he's done."
Despite his most recent injury, Moeaki was still granted first-team All-Big 10 honors.
"Yeah it's a huge honor; the coaches vote for the All-Big Ten Conference team," Moeaki said proudly. "To get enough votes from coaches meant a lot because they're the ones watching film every week. I was really honored."
Aside from his dynamic pass catching skills, Moeaki is a very willing blocker. One of the best things he has going for him is the preparation that he received from coach Kirk Ferentz.
"He (Ferentz) helped a lot. I think any player from our program will tell you he runs his program in an NFL style. We run an NFL-style offense, so everything translates great to the NFL. There are a lot of good Iowa players in the NFL right now."
Tony was able to receive the respect of teammates, as former Hawkeye right tackle Kyle Calloway had plenty to say of Moeaki.
"Awesome guy, toughest guy on our team by far," Calloway said of his line-mate. "The best run blocking tight end we have. He's a physical guy, he's had some unfortunate injuries but he battles back every time and he's just as good as he was before.
"He was actually my roommate for two years and I can say that he's just a disciplined guy, always focused every day all around and he's a great leader."
The questions revolving around Moeaki have never been about ability, but more about durability.
"Like I said, the physicals went well. I didn't have any knee, back or shoulder injuries,
just little dinky stuff. Everything's healed. I've been fine with everything, training's been going well, no problems."
Moeaki now has a clean bill of health and if he can stay that way some team will get a very productive player in the middle rounds of April's draft.
Healthy and Ready to Go
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