Whether you're a player, coach, fan or analyst, there is one thing we all have in common: despising when injuries rob us of seeing greatness from football's elite. That’s exactly what happened last year with Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore. After being named a first-team All-American and winning the Paul Hornung Award (most versatile player in college football) as a true freshman in 2018, Moore came back in 2019 and looked like he would have an even bigger year. Then he suffered an injury in Week 5 that knocked him out the rest of the season.
We must not forget about the damage Moore did in 2018, however.
The prestigious Heisman Award has basically become a quarterback’s award to win — and rightfully so — and there are truly only a few non-quarterbacks who have the potential to enter the discussion during the 2020 season. With a clean bill of health, Rondale Moore is without question among those non-quarterbacks who have a chance to win the Heisman.
Moore’s 2018 true freshman campaign was clearly special. He finished the season with an 89.7 receiving grade — which tied for sixth among FBS wide receivers — and was the second-most-valuable wide receiver in college football in regard to PFF’s Wins Above Average (WAA). In fact, it was the second-best season we have ever recorded by a non-quarterback true freshman:
Most valuable season by a non-QB true freshman in the PFF College era (since 2014)
|Player, school, year||WAA|
|1. CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU (2019)||1.01|
|2. WR Rondale Moore, Purdue (2018)||0.68|
|3. WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama (2018)||0.67|