Rifle’s Ryan Moeller makes Fleet’s final 53-man roster
The long, triumphant football journey of Rifle native Ryan Moeller has added a new chapter to the story that continues to write itself.
Moeller, a former All-State running back at Rifle High School and a First Team All-Pac-12 special teams player earned a spot on the final 53-man roster of the San Diego Fleet, one of the flagship franchises in the upstart Alliance of American Football league, according to the release of the official roster by the franchise Tuesday.
The Rifle graduate made a name for himself at the high school level as a running back, as he rushed for 5,471 yards and 65 touchdowns in his last two seasons. During his senior year, when the Bears won their second consecutive 3A Western Slope League title and went to the state title game in Aurora, his 3,002 rushing yards made him one of two players in Colorado and one of 16 in the nation to rush for more than 3,000 yards in a season, according to maxpreps.com.
Despite all of his success at the high school level as a running back, college coaches looked more at what Moeller could do defensively. He showed plenty there as well for the Bears, recording 96 tackles and 10 interceptions in two seasons as a full-time starter at free safety. His most memorable interception came in the 2012 Class 3A quarterfinals against Roosevelt, as his pick of Rough Riders quarterback Spencer Urban at the Rifle 9-yard-line, followed by his 91-yard return for a touchdown as time expired, sealed the Bears’ 48-34 victory.
Although Moeller showed plenty of skill at the high school level, he didn’t receive much attention from major Division I programs, leading to the Rifle standout walking on at Colorado University under former head coach Mike MacIntyre. While at CU, Moeller earned First Team All-Pac-12 honors after the 2016 season as a special teams player.
That season, Moeller played defensive back as well as special teams for the Buffs, recorded nine total tackles on special teams, finishing second on the team. He also forced six fair catches on punts while serving as a gunner on special teams.
In addition to his special teams play, Moeller played 391 snaps on defense while making eight starts as a nickel back/outside linebacker.
He recorded 36 tackles with two for a loss, forced two fumbles, had one pass breakup, created one quarterback pressure and forced one third-down stop, including a big forced fumble in the final week of the 2016 season against Utah.
Following his career at CU, Moeller didn’t hear his name called in the 2018 NFL Draft after his senior season with the Buffs was cut short due to injury. Despite going undrafted, Moeller earned rookie minicamp tryouts with the New York Giants and the Seattle Seahawks. After impressing in rookie minicamp, both teams passed on Moeller, leading to an opportunity with the Fleet in the AAF.
The new, eight-team league will start play one week after Sunday’s Super Bowl LIII between the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots.
The league was founded by filmmaker Charlie Ebersol and former NFL General Manager Bill Polian, who is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Moeller is one of three former CU players on the Fleet’s roster, including wide receiver Nelson Spruce, and linebacker Kenneth Olugbode.
The Fleet open the 2019 season at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, on the road at the San Antonio Commanders.