A fan-favorite series is coming back to the site as it is officially prospect interview season. For anybody new to the site or for people who need a reminder, every draft season I sit down with prospects that are going to be in the upcoming NFL Draft to talk with them about their off-field accomplishments and some film aspects on the field. While I don’t always talk to star players, I have been able to talk to a few players who eventually ended up with the Colts such as Khari Willis, Marvell Tell III, and Rock Ya-Sin.
Our next prospect interview is with Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore. We had a great conversation about his elite ability after the catch, why he ultimately chose Purdue, and what it would mean to play for the Colts.
40 Time (Pro Day): 4.29 seconds
Vertical Jump: 42.5 inches
Weight: 180 pounds
Moore was a four star recruit out of Trinity High School in Louisville, Kentucky. He opted to commit to Purdue out of high school, which was near where he originally grew up in Indiana. In his first year at Purdue, he had one of the greatest Freshman seasons in college football history. He won the Paul Hornung Award for the nation’s most versatile player, was a consensus First Team All-American, and was the Big Ten Wide Receiver of the year. While he struggled with injuries in his final two seasons, that first year was special.
Moore also was consistently on All Academic Big Ten teams throughout his college career and was able to graduate a year early with a 3.71 grade point average.
ZH: You committed to Purdue out of high school, which I believe was close to where you grew up. What went into that decision to ultimately choose Purdue?
RM: It being close to home was a big part of the decision for me, and for my mother really. Her being able to get to the games and not having to worry about a hotel or get on a plane was important. I had a plan of leaving school early as a Junior so I wanted to graduate with that degree in hand, and Purdue gave me the opportunity to do that. Along with that, man, the relationships. With Coach Brohm and Coach Shephard, I got a chance to connect with them when I was a sophomore in high school so that relationship really helped as well. Offensively, what they were doing with the slot there and scheming up touches was really intriguing to me as well.
ZH: You had arguably the greatest freshman season in college football history. What was the key to your success in year one?
RM: The key to my success was really the people around me, believe it or not. Prior to even getting to Purdue, my heart goes out to my mentors, teammates, coaches... Anyone who was really a part of the journey. Obviously, my trainer Chris Vaughn in Louisville, Kentucky as well. All those guys played a role in getting me to Purdue and for me to do what I did. As I was at Purdue, I was surrounded by people who wanted to learn the game and worked hard. I was able to come in and see how it was done first, and I had a chance to step in early to catch some footballs. It doesn’t go unnoticed to all the people who helped me early on.
#Purdue WR Rondale Moore —— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) March 23, 2021
Saw the Pro Day testing numbers (4.29 40; 42.5 Vert). Meshes with his explosive/sudden traits.
Motion/move player in the NFL. Slot/backfield alignments. Schemed touches. Creating matchup advantages there. Punt return skills, too. @NFLMatchup pic.twitter.com/5T3eVCfWGs
Play from the Slot
ZH: You mentioned liking how Purdue got the ball out early and into the hands of the slot before you went to the school. Was that a role that was created more for your play style or just a role that was in that offense that you filled perfectly?
RM: It was more how we were going offensively. I pretty much can run any route in the book but I more do what I’m asked to do as a player and go out there and execute.
ZH: You are incredible after the catch despite not being the biggest receiver out there. What goes into being a great player after the catch?
RM: Mainly being blessed with certain abilities, man. I can’t sit here and say that I worked so hard and that I got all this going on. I had the opportunity to be blessed with the ability to do so many different things. Of course I have expanded upon them, but I’ve been surrounded by a lot of great people who helped me build on it. Like I said though man, it has been a journey. It’s a combination of a lot, though. Strength, quickness, contact balance, awareness.. I’ve worked on a lot of those things but some of it was just being blessed with it.
If you would have told me in 2018 that Rondale Moore wouldn’t go in R1, I would have called in for a wellness check— Thor Nystrom (@thorku) March 21, 2021
Playing with David Bell
ZH: Across from you these past few years has been another great receiver in David Bell. How much easier does it make your life playing alongside another top receiver?
RM: It makes things a lot easier. Fortunately with David Bell, he comes to work everyday and works hard and is eager to learn. He reminds me of myself when it comes to wanting to get better and wanting to put in the extra work. David Bell is a good kid, man. 50/50 balls are really 80/20 balls with him because he has great ball skills and does a great job for us.
Incredible catch from Purdue's David Bell after falling down on his route pic.twitter.com/RNsg165RHe— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) November 30, 2019
ZH: Do you have a favorite route to run?
RM: Slant I guess would fit (laughs).
ZH: Now my favorite question to ask receivers. Has there ever been a time where you told the quarterback to give you the slant because you know you will beat your guy?
RM: (Laughs) Yeah, plenty of times. Even during the course of the week when preparing for a team, I’d always ask to be lined up backside by myself and just have them give me a route. Yeah, though, there have been times that we have had that conversation (laughs).
ZH: How big is confidence when it comes to being a productive wide receiver?
RM: I think it is huge. First and foremost, everything is mental for me. I’m a realist when it comes to maneuvering throughout life and I see things for what they are. I think it is important to believe in yourself and go out there and show it. If you believe you are going to catch, go do it. Obviously it takes some practice, but that first step is being confident in your ability and everyone around you.
Potentially playing in Indy
ZH: I typically don’t ask this question but you are every Colts fans’ favorite player this year. What would it mean to you to play for the Colts in the NFL?
RM: That would be a blessing. I think to get drafted anywhere is a blessing. To get drafted to your hometown team, with all your friends and family close, and be pinned as a hometown hero would be really cool. Really cool to say the least.
ZH: Did you grow up a Colts fan and watching the Colts?
RM: Weirdly enough, I had hoop dreams and I thought I was gonna play in the NBA, so I wasn’t a big football or NFL guy growing up. To this day, I’ve never been to any NFL game but if I ever would have attended a game, it definitely would have been a Colts’ game.
Forget his height. Rondale Moore is a playmaker with the ball in his hands⚡️ pic.twitter.com/BSaIL2ClBn— Speak Up (@_SpeakU) March 23, 2021
ZH: What is my team getting if they draft Rondale Moore?
RM: Everything that everyone tells you. I graduated in 2.5 years. All-American on the football field. I’ve done volunteer work. I’m a genuine person. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to doing anything and very competitive. Just to harp on who I am as a football player, I have the versatility to lineup inside or outside, be dynamic in the return game, and make it hard on defenders out there. I think you are getting the full package if you draft me.
Obviously, I don’t have to sum up Rondale Moore too much here in the closing paragraph. If you are a Colts’ fan living in Indiana, you probably know who Rondale Moore is. Outstanding player and a high character person as well.
When it comes to fit with the Colts, his skill set would go perfectly with Frank Reich’s offense. The only concern I have is that Chris Ballard has never drafted a receiver under 6’0” in his entire career. Maybe Moore breaks that streak but 5’7” is likely a major outlier for him. If any player can overcome that size and be a superstar in the league though, it is Rondale Moore. Great player that I hope ends up with the Colts.