Aug. 6, 2007
IOWA CITY — Life as a tourist can wait for Devan Moylan. At least while wearing an Iowa football uniform is still an option.
Moylan assumed that his collegiate football career had ended last Sept. 23 at Champaign, Ill., after his hamstring was torn from the bone in a game against Illinois. In four games during the 2006 season, Moylan registered 11 tackles (three solo) and intercepted a pass. Then came what appeared to be a season and career-ending injury.
Moylan, a 2003 graduate and member of the national honor society at Panorama (Iowa) High School, earned a bachelor’s degree in health and sports studies from the University of Iowa in May and was ready to take an extended recess before throwing his hat into the job-seeking ring. Former teammate Sam Brownlee joined Moylan on a scheduled 30-day European trip following commencement.
“Sam and I always wanted to travel around, so we took off and went overseas,” Moylan said.
Included were stops in the Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria (where they spent the night in a castle), Greece, Ireland and Italy. Of all the spectacular sites, it was an e-mail message from his mother while he was in Florence, Italy that remains a highlight of Moylan’s journey.
“Mom e-mailed me and said Coach Ferentz had called and there was a possibility that I might receive a fifth year (of eligibility),” Moylan said. “I started emailing her back and then decided to call. It was 3:30 in the morning in the states, but I was so excited I called my mom and then my roommate (Hawk defensive end) Bryan Mattison.”
If a player participates in 30 percent or fewer of a team’s games in a season before sustaining a season-ending injury, they are eligible for a medical redshirt. Moylan was shelved during the fourth game (out of 12) which is 33 percent participation. That rounds down to 30 percent making him eligible in 2007.
“I’m looking at this as a second chance,” Moylan said. “I had written off my football career and now I’m excited to get out there with my friends and play again.”
Moylan, a safety and special teams stalwart, was so excited to return to the Hawkeyes that he trimmed the European vacation by eight days and spent three days searching for a flight back to the United States.
“I wanted to get back and start working out right away,” said Moylan, who resumed training June 11. “I’m pretty excited. It’s not very often in life that you get a second chance. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Moylan, who is one of a long line of successful walk-ons at Iowa, has applied for admission to the leisure and recreational sports management program. His path to the UI was far from direct. After high school Moylan enrolled at Iowa Central Community College where he received first team all-region honors as a defensive back. His best friend was a student at Iowa and kept him abreast of the virtues of attending Iowa.
“My friend thought I could play at Iowa and he knew I would love the environment,” Moylan said. “My coach at Iowa Central (Kevin Twait) placed a call and I joined the team in January 2004.”
During the 2004 season Moylan and the Hawkeyes finished 10-2, won the Big Ten championship and defeated LSU 30-25 in the Capitol One Bowl. Iowa was a combined 13-12 the next two seasons and currently has a string of six consecutive bowl game appearances.
Coach Kirk Ferentz is pleased to have Moylan’s experience and leadership back in the secondary.
“The thing he’s trying to do right now is catch up on the volume of work that our guys have done since January until this point,” Ferentz said. “But he’s not a guy that ever got too far out of shape. The guy loves football. I’m confident when September rolls around he’ll be there.”
Moylan is confident he’ll be ready by the season-opener as well. He’s using the preseason to find his niche during practices.
“I’ll do whatever I can to fit in and help the team the best I can,” Moylan said.
Because nothing compares to the beauty of a second chance.
Moylan’s Collegiate Stats
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