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We hit the 60s in our countdown to kickoff today with no. 69, Simi Moala. The offensive lineman has played at both tackle spots for the Utes, playing in every game since the beginning of the 2019 season. In 2020, Moala played in all five games, starting the last four at left tackle. In 2019, Simi started 12 games at right tackle on his way to a Pac-12 All-Conference honorable mention in 2019.

Moala is another tall tackle with a long reach for offensive line coach Jim Harding’s group, standing at 6-foot-7 and 312 pounds. He was mainly recruited as a defensive end by programs out of high school, when he weighed around 240 pounds.

After taking a year to shake off the rust from his LDS mission, hitting the weight room hard and learning a new position, it was clear that the Inglewood, CA native made the most of his time with an all-conference honor in his redshirt freshman season.

Moala will likely slide back over to right tackle in 2021, with Jaren Kump slotting in on the left side. After a strong camp, Moala will be backed up by senior Bam Olaseni.

UteNation take

With two years as a starter and three years total in the system, Moala is a seasoned veteran on this offensive line and will be expected to be a leader with the group in 2021. UteNation has discussed in previous countdown articles about the great talent in-waiting with the whole offensive line group, so Moala will still need a strong fall camp to hold his starting spot. However, his experience should prove to be invaluable for a team that is all-in for the 2021 Pac-12 title.

After another year as a full-time offensive lineman under Harding’s tutelage, the sky’s the limit for Moala and by season’s end, he could have NFL scouts salivating over his measurables and potential.

Alex remembers Moala’s recruitment

Okay, let me start this off by saying, Simi, I forgive you. This was one of the most bizarre recruiting stories I’ve ever dealt with. First off, I was tipped off by my sources that he had committed, so I called him and he gave me commitment quotes. I was in the middle of writing his commitment article when he backed out, and later committed to Gary Andersen at Oregon State.

Look, I get it, kids get cold feet—Simi was one of them and he did say that it was a soft commit. That being said, he’s a Ute now, and seems at peace with his final decision.