With the MLR season reaching the Halfway point, it’s time to hand out our midseason awards. Next up: Top Rookie.
Stepping into the MLR and making an impact directly out of college is extremely challenging. Academy systems are in their early stages, and the college game is far from the developmental system enjoyed by other American sports.
All of that makes Connor Mooneyham’s first half all the more special.
Originally the first overall pick by Dallas, Mooneyham was drafted yet again by Austin when Dallas postponed to 2022. If the Life University product continues his current production, Dallas will be beating themselves up over that for the next decade.
Mostly playing on the wing, Mooneyham has made his presence felt in the Austin back line. In a unit that includes, Will Magie, Mack Mason, Bryce Campbell, and the recently signed Reuben De Haas, simply getting a significant amount of touches would be impressive. But Mooneyham has asserted himself as a potential franchise player for the burnt orange.
Every time Mooneyham touches the ball, there’s a sense that something big is about to happen. Pull up any game, and you’ll hear the fans when he gets possession. This is a young man that has went from college kid to potential Eagle in about nine weeks of rugby. He may end up being the first star that developed completely in the MLR.