Defensive tackle Viane Moala has transferred to Utah, the school announced today.
Moala, who is 6 feet 7 and 290 pounds, requested — and received — his release from UH last month. He also withdrew from classes this spring semester.
As part of the conditions of his release, according to people familiar with the situation, Moala was not allowed to sign with a team on UH’s schedule. That clause prevented Moala from transferring to another Mountain West school. The Mountain West also has a rule that requires a player to sit out two seasons when transferring between member schools. Utah is a member of the Pac-12.
Moala still would have to redshirt this coming season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules. He also would have to be in good academic standing in order to be eligible for a football scholarship during his first year at Utah.
In two seasons, Moala played in 24 games, making eight starts at defensive tackle. He has blocked four kicks, including two this season.
Utah assistant coach Lewis Powell, a former UH defensive line coach, apparently was the point recruiter after Moala received his release.