By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa – I hadn’t planned on writing a column about Purdue receiver Rondale Moore, but felt compelled to do so after learning that he had graduated from college in just 2 ½ years.
It’s challenging enough as a typical student to graduate from college in four years. Believe me, I know from experience.
But Moore barely needed half of that time to earn his degree, and to have finished college in that short of time while also playing football and dealing with injures, and with a global pandemic for most of the past year, says so much about his character, vision and work ethic.
The 5-foot-9, 180-pound Moore is one of the most exciting and dynamic players that I’ve had the pleasure of watching in nearly 30 years of covering Big Ten football, and maybe the most exciting. He is a threat to score from anywhere on the field, and defenders are helpless against him in space.
Unfortunately, Moore’s career at Purdue has been hampered by injuries, and by the obstacles and distractions caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic.
And yet, Moore hasn’t let the adversity affect the student side of being a student-athlete.
He almost certainly has played in his last game for Purdue since he is considered a potential first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
And really, what does he have left to prove in college, on or off the field?
Moore, in 2018, became the first true freshman in Big Ten history to earn consensus first-team All-America accolades, and he now has his degree from an esteemed Big Ten institution.
Moore epitomizes what it truly means to be a student-athlete.
Even with an NFL career on the horizon, Moore never has wavered from his commitment to academics.
I can say that with certainty, even without covering Purdue athletics, or without having ever interviewed Moore, because a person doesn’t graduate from college in 2 ½ years without being focused on the task at hand.
As spectacular as Moore is as a football player, to have graduated from Purdue in 2 ½ years might be more impressive than anything he has accomplished on the playing field, and that’s saying a lot.
Moore is an inspiration and a great ambassador for Purdue football, for the Big Ten Conference, and for college athletics as a whole.
Football has been good to Moore and has helped change the course of his life.
But Moore also understands that there is life beyond football, and that a college degree helps to prepare you for that life.
He came to Purdue with goals and with a purpose, on and off the field, and now he leaves with a degree in just 2 1/2 years.
That’s so impressive that I couldn’t help but write about it.
So congratulations Rondale Moore on a job well done.