Randy Moss was nearly a wide receiver at the University of Notre Dame, and it would have changed Notre Dame’s modern history.
It’s neither a secret that Randy Moss went to Marshall nor is it a secret that he should have gone to Notre Dame. Today, Moss is often thought of as either the best or the second-best to ever play wide receiver in the history of football.
Make no mistake, Randy Moss is the definition of a freak athlete. He was longer, faster, and jumped higher than anyone else ever was able. He should have been the best wide receiver in Notre Dame history and not a footnote.
So, what happened?
There was a fight at his high school, where he and another student beat up another student for that student’s racial provocation. The student was beaten so badly that charges were brought against Moss, and he lost his scholarship to Notre Dame. He went to Florida State after that, but while on probation for that fight, Moss was caught smoking marijuana and Florida State kicked him off the team.
Randy Moss would land at Marshall. He was too good for Division I-AA, which is the level Marshall played at when Moss landed in Huntington. He dominated.
So, what would have happened had Randy Moss not gotten into that fight, and played for Notre Dame instead?
Lou Holtz, who recruited Moss was a run-heavy coach. Would a player like Moss have seen Holtz open his offense up more? It’s possible that the offense would have opened up. After all, Holtz was a good coach and knew that you played to your strengths. Still, if you look at a player like Tim Brown’s stats the answer may be that Moss wouldn’t have been catching the ball more than about 30 times in a season.
Holtz also retired after the 1996 season and was replaced by Bob Davie. At this time Notre Dame started to decline and began to lack relevance in major college football. However, a Heisman finalist like Randy Moss would have kept them relevant. Notre Dame would have been able to score more than 7 points against teams like Michigan State in 1997.
Now, if that post-Holtz decline doesn’t come, who is to say that Notre Dame isn’t able to keep the momentum going and never see a decline in the quality that lasted until Brian Kelly took over for Charlie Weis.
Randy Moss is the type of talent who can change a program overnight. When a program is already riding high, there’s no reason why he couldn’t positively affect the program going forward. Frankly, it’s a shame that Moss wasn’t able to come to play for the Irish.