College football in 2020 is going to look rather different. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the schedules of teams everywhere are being altered and players are choosing to opt out of the season for personal health concerns. And now one of the most notable players in all of college football is following that path.
On Thursday evening, Purdue star receiver Rondale Moore made the decision to opt out of the 2020 season — his redshirt sophomore year — and prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft. His time at Purdue is over.
“To all the Purdue fans who made me feel so welcomed and have supported my team and myself over the last two years: Being a Boilermaker has been everything I hoped for and more,” Moore wrote in a graphic posted to his Twitter account. “We’ve experienced some great moments together. The entire staff and university have helped me grow not only as a football player, but also as a man.
“My goals during my college experience were to earn a degree and prepare for ta possible opportunity in the NFL. With the help of tremendous academic support and a remarkable group of professors, I am on track to complete my degree in 2.5 years, this December. Additionally a great coaching staff, phenomenal teammates, excellent athletic trainers, and an unbelievable strength and conditioning support team has put me in a position to realize my dreams.
“Given the unprecedented circumstances we are currently living in, the best choice for my family and I is to opt out of the upcoming season and prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft. This is a bittersweet decision because I always assumed I had more great moments at Ross-Ade Stadium ahead of me, and I will greatly miss the entire community. Please accept my heartfelt gratitude #Boiler4Life.”
It’s easy to see why everyone was so eager to get Moore back onto the field this season. What he accomplished as a freshman was enough to put a struggling Purdue program on the national map.
Moore caught 114 passes for 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns as a freshman in 2018. His play on the field earned him First Team All-American and All-Big Ten honors, as well as the Big Ten Freshman and wide receiver of the year.
One of the most explosive players in the game, Moore played in just four games in 2019 before an injury to his hamstring put an end to his season. Moore had just 29 catches for 387 yards and two scores before his season came to an end, thus leaving everyone wanting more. Those people wanted to see that in 2020.
“I’m here to tell you Moore is ready to shake the ground of the Big Ten once again,” 247Sports analyst Brandon Marcello wrote. “He’s healthy and just as explosive. He won the Paul Hornung Award. He knocked off Ohio State as a true freshman. He recorded 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns on 114 catches. He also rushed for 213 yards on only 21 carries. If Purdue can get him more involved in the running game as a gadget player, get ready for a 2,000-yard season from the most electric player returning in the Big Ten.”
As a member of the Class of 2018, Moore was a four-star prospect according to the 247Sports composite. He was the No. 1 overall prospect in the state of Kentucky, the No. 41 overall wide receiver in the country and the No. 229 overall prospect in the country. Moore ended up choosing the Boilermakers over Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Texas and many others.