Navy's Moeller selected to College Football Hall of Fame

Former Midshipmen safety was a first-team All-American in 1975

May 27, 2010|By Colin Stevens, The Baltimore Sun

After 15 years of waiting, Navy safety Chet Moeller was named a 2010 inductee to the College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday.

Moeller played for the Midshipmen from 1973-1975, earning a unanimous first-team All-American selection and East Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year honors in his senior season.

Former Navy assistant and current North Carolina State coach Tom O'Brien remembered Moeller for his speed.

"He wasn't the fastest guy to ever play the game, in terms of 40 speed, but he played the game faster than anybody played the game at the time because of his instincts," O'Brien said.

O'Brien, who joined Navy's staff during Moeller's senior season, credited the All-American's playmaking ability to the effort he put in off the field. He said Moeller avidly studied film of opponents, allowing him to react to their formations and stay one step ahead of the play.

Moeller's toughness also made an impression on O'Brien. He said that after breaking his thumb during a Saturday game, Moeller had surgery Monday and played the following weekend in a cast.

"The way he played football would be an instructional video today," he said.

After being selected from a ballot of 77 candidates, Moeller will be the 22nd Navy player or coach inducted into the Hall of Fame. He will be only the fourth defensive Midshipmen elected and the Academy's first safety to receive the honor.

Moeller, who is a member of Navy's Hall of Fame, finished his career with 275 tackles and made a school record 25 tackles for loss as a junior.

The most recent Midshipmen inducted to the Hall of Fame was George Welsh, who was Navy's coach from 1973-81 before leading Virginia's program from 1982-2000 and in 2004. The last Navy player inducted was running back Napoleon McCallum (1981-85), who was elected in 2002.

2010 College Football Hall of Fame inductees: Dennis Byrd — DT, North Carolina State (1964-67); Ronnie Caveness — C, Arkansas (1962-64); Ray Childress — DL, Texas A&M (1981-84); Randy Cross — OG, UCLA (1973-75); Sam Cunningham — RB, Southern California (1970-72); Mark Herrmann — QB, Purdue (1977-80); Clarkston Hines — WR, Duke (1986-89); Desmond Howard — WR, Michigan (1989-91); Chet Moeller — DB, Navy (1973-75); Jerry Stovall — HB, LSU (1960-62); Pat Tillman — LB, Arizona State (1994-97); Alfred Williams — LB, Colorado (1987-90).

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