His defensive coordinator says he has freakish talent. There really is no better description for Dontay Moch.
At 6-foot-1 and 245 pounds, the Nevada senior has speed reserved for 100-meter champions, not hybrid defensive end/linebackers. This past summer during junior day, he clocked a 4.08 and 4.18 in the 40. Not surprising to Moch, who was a 100- and 200-meter state champion in high school at Arizona.
It is that incredible speed, combined with his strength and power that have allowed him to line up at both end and linebacker during his Nevada career. Excellent in space, Moch says new defensive coordinator Andy Buh plans to play him more at outside linebacker to take advantage of his infinite skill.
“This season, fans are going to see everything they want to see from me,” Moch said in a phone interview. “I’ll be dropping back, covering receivers, blitzing, putting my hand on the ground and staying down in the nitty gritty. It’s going to be great.”
Moch prefers to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 because it gives him more freedom. When Buh was hired, Moch went into coach Chris Ault’s office and asked what would happen with the defense. “He said the defense is like a hybrid 3-4 built for a player just like me,” Moch said. “It was a mutual decision for me to do more linebacker work this year, to show more of the athlete that I am.”
He has already proven that and more. The reigning WAC Defensive Player of the Year, Moch has his eyes set on breaking the WAC sacks and tackles for loss records. He needs 10 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks to hold both marks. He already holds the single-season school sacks record with 9.5 in 2008.
Not shy about his goals, Moch is hoping for 13 sacks this season, after getting a combined 16 in 2008 and 2009.
So what is his secret to taking down the quarterback? He can get past many offensive linemen with his speed alone. Not many tackles or guards have dealt with an end boasting 4.1 speed. Louisiana Tech tackle Rob McGill told the Reno Gazette-Journal during WAC media days, “I’ll tell you this. I don’t like going against him. He's one of those guys where he can sometimes blow right by you off the ball.”
Moch studies his opponents, and learns their strengths and weaknesses. He practices fighting through double teams, knowing he will face many more this upcoming season.
The new, aggressive-style defense should suit him. Nevada is smart to line him up at end and linebacker, because Moch truly is a hybrid.