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Fact or Fiction: Rondale Moore is most important player to opt back in

Rondale Moore
Rondale Moore (USA Today Sports)

National recruiting director Mike Farrell and national recruiting analyst Adam Gorney tackle three topics daily and determine whether they believe the statements or not.

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1. Rondale Moore is the most important player to opt back in to season.

Farrell’s take: FICTION. I’m going with Wyatt Davis, not Shaun Wade, at Ohio State. Moore is important to his team, as important as anyone, but Purdue isn’t going to be competing for a national title like the Buckeyes. Rashod Bateman at Minnesota is big and Jalen Mayfield is big at Michigan and there are many others, but give me Davis who was just cleared by the NCAA to return. That Buckeyes offensive line is right up there now with Alabama and Notre Dame nationally.

Gorney’s take: FICTION. Moore is incredibly important to Purdue’s offense and he forms arguably the best 1-2 punch in the Big Ten with David Bell, but the Boilermakers have other concerns and probably are not there yet for a division title. That’s why I look at Davis and Wade coming back, both crucial cogs to the Buckeyes’ chances at a national championship - and those chances have never been better. With Davis and Wade on the field, Ohio State might be the No. 1 team in the country.


2. Notre Dame came out ahead by landing Deion Colzie but losing Philip Riley.

Farrell’s take: FICTION. Colzie is a solid recommitment for the Irish, but some schools backed off and he has not developed as expected in terms of speed and explosiveness so it will be interesting to see how he pans out. Riley’s loss outpaces the gain of getting Colzie because he’s from Florida and a kid that was more heavily coveted. Notre Dame needs help on the defensive side of things as much as they need playmaking wideouts and Riley could have played corner or safety.

Gorney’s take: FACT. The thing that matters to me most here is that Colzie wanted to be at Notre Dame and Riley did not see that as the perfect fit, and so the Irish win out because they got a player at a position of need who will give everything to the program and his entire heart will be in it. Colzie is from Georgia, a major recruiting area for Notre Dame, and he has the playmaking ability to be a serious contributor on offense. Keeping Riley would have been very nice, but he saw himself elsewhere and Notre Dame should be able to fill that spot without much of a problem.


3. The Sooners just cannot develop talent on defense.

Farrell’s take: FACT. They’ve had talent. That’s not the problem. Players like Kenneth Murray have developed, of course, but overall the top talent is going to Norman and not emerging. Caleb Kelly, Brendan Radley-Hiles and others were highly regarded coming out and just never lived up to expectations.

Why do I ask this question? Because Oklahoma has had plenty of highly ranked defensive prospects over the last many years and yet their defense is still a major problem. Something is wrong scheme-wise or player development wise there and it needs to be fixed.

Gorney’s take: FICTION. Last season, Oklahoma had Neville Gallimore, Murray and Parnell Motley across its three levels of defense and those guys got much better in Norman. Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch is the right person for this job, he’s dealing with lots of moving parts and replacements and of course Oklahoma can develop players just like any other program. With Grinch in charge there, it will get done.

Kansas State had only 21 points heading into the fourth quarter before the Sooners collapsed. It finished with just 66 rushing yards and one receiving touchdown. There are positive things happening on defense.