Tyler Moeller, who sat out last season while recovering from a brain injury, has been cleared to return to the field for the Ohio State football team this fall, a source told BuckeyeSports.com late Wednesday night.
Moeller was expected to compete for a starting linebacker spot last season but suffered bleeding on the brain after hitting his head on the floor following a punch from a Florida man at a bar in July. Earlier this month, Ralph Gray Decker entered a guilty plea for felony battery charges stemming from the event, and he awaits sentencing in August.
After taking part in most noncontact drills during spring practice in April, Moeller told reporters he expected to be full-go for the regular season, and he could help the Buckeyes in a variety of ways.
Defensive coordinator Jim Heacock's defense lost one starter at linebacker and both starting safeties from a top-5 2009 unit, and Moeller has experience at both positions.
Most of the action he saw in the spring was at safety, and he is expected to be a candidate to play the Star position - a linebacker/safety hybrid - when the team deploys its nickel defense.
He started one game at Star in 2008 and earned "attack force" player of the week for notching seven tackles, including two for loss, and forcing a fumble during a 30-20 victory at Illinois.
Moeller totaled 26 tackles during the 2007 and '08 campaigns when he was a special teams standout in addition to his work on defense.
Now listed at 6-0, 210, Moeller is listed as a senior in eligibility, but hopes to gain another year by petitioning the NCAA.