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Purdue Football: Rondale is Gone, but the Wide Receiver Corp is Still Stacked

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While it was a stomach punch, we are still well stocked at wide receiver.

Indiana v Purdue Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Rondale Moore has opted out of the 2020 season, as he is set to graduate in 2.5 years and has his eyes on the NFL Draft.

While this is a total gut punch, with the current climate of the Covid Crisis in the United States and not guaranteed safety protocols for college athletes, who can blame these guys for opting out? I for one cannot.

While losing number 4 totally sucks and we basically only got one season out of a generational talent at Purdue. The glass is half full, because the wide receiver core is absolutely loaded still.

The best way to replace the best wide receiver in the Big Ten, is by having the second best wide receiver in the Big Ten with Freshman All American, David Bell.

But, it doesn’t stop there, we have plenty of options to throw the ball to and we should be in good shape in 2020, if games are played.

In 2019, Purdue threw for a total of 3,719 yards. Rondale was only responsible for 387 yards and two of the twenty-eight touchdown passes.

That means roughly 90% of our other passing/receiving yards were to other players on the team. About 22% of the yards went to Brycen Hopkins, who is now in the NFL. We are returning 68% of our total passing offense, which puts us in a better situation than a lot of teams across the NCAA.

I am just here to tell you that, we will be okay. David Bell, who was a Freshman All-American, returns and will lead this young, but explosive group of wide receivers. Jackson Anthrop and Jared Sparks will bring some veteran leadership, but lets look at the entire group of guys we have coming back for 2020.

Seniors:

  • Jackson Anthrop (3*) - 92 Catches, 817 Yards, 6 touchdowns - Jackson was a vital piece to the offense in 2017, the year before Rondale came to town. Playing in all 13 games and having over 400 yards of receiving on 47 catches. We will need that production in 2020. After Rondale’s injury last season, Jackson filled in admirably with 37 catches for 340 yards.
  • Jared Sparks (2* Dual Threat QB) - Injuries have played a role in his career, but Sparks has 55 catches for 604 yards in his career at Purdue. His most production was 2018.

Juniors:

  • None

Sophomores:

  • David Bell (4*) - Freshman All-American, 86 catches, 1035 yards, 7 touchdowns. He will be the best offensive player for us on the field at all times this coming season. His numbers will only go up with the departure of Rondale Moore and Brycen Hopkins.
  • Kory Taylor (3*) - To date, the 3rd year sophomore has not logged a catch at Purdue, but brings size that many wide receivers don’t have at 6-5, 210 Pounds.
  • Milton Wright (4*) - Milton Wright was forced into action last season, especially after the injury to Jared Sparks on the outside, He had an up and down year with some drops that can be fixed, but he finished with 18 catches for 288 yards and a touchdown.
  • Amad Anderson Jr. (3*) - Probably my 2nd favorite wide receiver on the team, Amad has a giant chip on his shoulder, while somewhat under sized, he played both the outside spot and slot receiver last year. He ended up with 31 catches for 343 yards and three touchdowns during his RS Freshman year, look for a huge jump this year from Amad.

Freshman:

  • T.J. Sheffield (Redshirt Frosh) (3*) - The once upon a time Notre Dame Commit, decided Purdue was the better fit. Last year the slot spot was decently stocked up and T.J. took a redshirt, he will have an opportunity to play a bunch in the slot this season.
  • Mershawn Rice (Redshirt Frosh) (4*) - Mershawn was probably going to play quote a bit last year, but injuries played a role and Coach Brohm decided to give him the RS. At 6-2, 190 pounds he has a similar build to Bell.
  • Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen (4*) - Another prototypical sized WR at 6-2, 190, he is smooth in and out of his routes. Has some deceptive speed, with running just under a 4.5. He was an early enrolee, I would not be surprised to see if he gets some playing time early and often.
  • Maliq Carr (4*) - The most unique size on the roster now, at 6-5, 225 pounds, Maliq is a freak. Many schools were recruiting him as a tight end. Coach Brohm and Coach Shep envision him as a match up nightmare for corners and safeties, or lining him up tighter and being faster than OLBs. Another one that could play early and often on the outside.
  • Marcellus Moore (3*) - Marcellus is now, without a doubt, the fastest player on the team. The freshman track phenom for Purdue will have his speed translate to the gridiron as well. I think his speed will be too much to keep off the field, even if it is just special teams.
  • Colin Sullivan (3*) - Sullivan is a nice wide receiver out of Texas. He adds some soft hands and great route running ability to the group of wide outs.

Predicted Depth Chart:

  • “Z” Receiver
  1. David Bell
  2. Jared Sparks
  3. Maliq Carr
  • “X” Receiver
  1. Milton Wright
  2. Mershawn Rice
  3. Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen
  • Slot
  1. Jackson Anthrop
  2. T.J. Sheffield
  • Slot
  1. Amad Anderson Jr.
  2. T.J. Sheffield