Rondale Moore opting out of 2020 season
If Purdue is gonna post a winning season for the first time since 2017, it will have to do so without Rondale Moore.
The dynamic redshirt sophomore wideout announced he is opting out of the 2020 season amid what Moore calls in a tweet "unprecedented circumstances we are currently living in," as the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. And in his farewell tweet sent late this afternoon, he made it clear he wasn't coming back and was going to focus on preparing for the 2021 NFL draft, where he projects as a first-round pick in some early mock drafts.
At his first meeting with the press since March on Wednesday, Purdue coach Jeff Brohm sounded optimistic about Moore in 2020 as his program prepped to open training camp on Friday.
"Rondale is currently at 1,000 percent," said Brohm via a Zoom call. "He's looked great, like he always has. He is feeling good. He has worked extremely hard in the offseason. I mean, he is on a mission."
Now, a day later, Moore is bolting West Lafayette.
Moore joins a growing list of top college football players who are opting out of a 2020 season filled with uncertainty. Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley was the first high-profile player to opt out. Other Big Ten players who have opted out are Minnesota wideout Rashod Bateman, Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, Michigan State defensive lineman Jacub Panasiuk and Illinois running back Ra'Von Bonner.
Moore enjoyed a short-but-dynamic 17-game career in West Lafayette that never fully blossomed due to injury. He exploded onto the scene in 2018, breaking the school record for most all-purpose yards (313) in a collegiate debut against Northwestern on Aug. 30 in Ross-Ade Stadium. Moore went on to become the first true freshman in Big Ten history to earn consensus All-American honors, making 114 catches for 1,258 yards with 12 TDs in his debut season.
The 5-9, 180-pound native of New Albany, Ind., saw his 2019 season truncated to four games after he suffered a hamstring injury vs. Minnesota. Moore finished the season with 29 catches for 387 yards and two scores during a disappointing 4-8 season.
Moore leaves West Lafayette having made 132 catches for 1,551 yards (11.8 ypc) and 14 TDs. He also ran 21 times for 206 yards (9.8 ypc) with a TD in addition to returning kicks and punts.
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Moore was Brohm’s first big recruit, signing in 2018 in Brohm's second recruiting class. The Boilermaker boss had an in with Moore, who played at Brohm’s alma mater in Louisville: Trinity High. Moore—a rivals.com four-star recruit—originally was committed to Texas before flipping to Purdue late in the process.
Moore was one of the most electrifying players in the nation, capable of scoring each time he touched the ball. A unique blend of speed, quickness, strength and toughness, Moore was poised to be the lynchpin of one of the Big Ten’s top receiving units in 2020.
Without Moore, the Boilermakers still will have plenty of talent at wideout, led by sophomore David Bell: The Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2019. Purdue also welcomes back sophomores Milton Wright and Amad Anderson, Jr., along with fifth-year seniors Jackson Anthrop and Jared Sparks. And the staff is excited about redshirt freshmen TJ Sheffield and Mershawn Rice. Plus, four incoming freshmen teem with potential: Maliq Carr, Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen, Collin Sullivan and Marcellus Moore.
Still, no one can replace Moore, who was a transcendent talent the likes of which never has been seen in West Lafayette.
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