Early Life, College, and 1998 Draft
Randy Gene Moss was born in Rand, West Virginia on February 13, 1977. He attended DuPont High School, where he excelled in football, basketball, baseball and, and track. He was recruited to play football at Notre Dame. Fighting Irish head coach Lou Holtz said that Randy "was the best high school football player [he's] ever seen." Randy's scholarship to Notre Dame was retracted after he was a part of a fight with another student after he apparently said racist remarks to Moss' friend. Moss spent 30 days in jail.
After he was released from jail, Moss attended Florida State University. In 1996, as a freshman, Moss failed a drug test and was expelled for violating parole. He spent 60 days in jail for parole violation before he was recruited to play for Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Moss was a key part of the University's explosive offense. Marshall spent two years at Marshall before he entered the NFL Draft in 1998.
In an already competitive draft, which included Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson, Moss was one of the most talked about prospects. At the Marshall pro day, Moss had a 4.25 40 yard dash time and a 47 inch vertical jump. However, Moss' character and past was called into question, and he fell further than expected in the draft. He was picked 21st of the first round by the Minnesota Vikings.
With the addition of Randy Moss, the Minnesota Vikings would create one of the highest scoring offenses in NFL history. Wide receiver Cris Carter, who had experience his own struggles with drugs early in his professional career, acted as a mentor to Moss.