Moala redshirted with USC in 2004, but did earn the scout team player of the year for his play in practice that season. He did not make much of an impact on the field a year later, where he had just eight tackles, one of them coming for a loss. As a sophomore, Moala made ten starts, and finished the season with 20 tackles, seven for loss, and 2.5 sacks. He entered his junior year as the starter, and became an impact player, finishing with 32 tackles, 5.5 for loss, and 2.5 sacks. Moala saved his best for last, as he closed out his career with 29 tackles, ten for loss, and 4.5 sacks.
Moala is a solid all around tackle, having the ability to impact the game in a variety of ways. He has a great frame, with the room to get bigger and stronger. He plays with good leverage, and shows the ability to hold his ground at the point of attack and clog running lanes. Moala also shows the burst off the ball to get into the backfield to disrupt the action. He flashes a mean streak on the field and can be unblockable when he does.
Moala has had some success and has had a lot of talent around him on the defensive line while at USC, but has never dominated at any point. He doesnít toss lineman around to make the tackle, and he isnít going to blow through the interior line of every snap to be a major disruption. He does have a tendency to get complacent on the field which causes him to disappear at times, so he will need work on playing with a more consistent motor on the field.
Fili Moala is a good defensive tackle that can do a few things very well, but does not dominate in any one aspect. He was a victim of the hype machine, entering the year as a top ten pick on many boards. That type of hype was unwarranted, and led to a lot of people labeling him overrated. He is a solid prospect and his potential would make him a very good second round selection.