Saturday was productive in more ways than one as Purdue picked up its first running back commitment for the 2010 class. Pegram is a 6' 210 lbs running back from Dallas, Texas. This is a return to our recruiting roots, of sorts. Joe Tiller made his mark be recruiting the state of Texas well. He recruited Texas almost as well as Danny Hope has recruited Florida. There is nothing wrong with this, either. Pegram is only a 2-star commitment from Texas, but he had some pretty good offers on the table. Oklahoma State and Texas A&M were his best offers other than Purdue.
Pegram is an interesting specimen because he has been relatively unheralded by the recruiting services, but some Dallas area fans think he may be the best running back in the city. That is pretty high praise from people that know their football. That thread has a couple of good comments about his size and speed, but they tend to think he is a bit underused.
Pegram comes into a backfield that might be a little crowded, at least early in his tenure. Ralph Bolden has two years left after this season. Al-Terek McBurse looks poised to take over at least the #2 role and he has three years left. You also have Dan Dierking left with a year to go, though he has not been used much as a featured back lately. It will be nice to have some young depth behind those three. I suppose you could possibly throw Justin Siller into the mix if he returns, but does not play quarterback.
I have managed to find a few interesting links on the young Mr. Pegram. TexasFootball.com has a video link listed for him, but there is no opportunity to download the right plug-in. One of his linemen recently committed to Texas Tech, so he his far from the sole player on his team. His team currently has a 5-2 record going into a game at home against Ft. Worth Castleberry.
If you're looking at raw numbers theya re pretty good. He currently ranks second for Dallas-area running backs with 915 yards and 10 touchdowns. He is also a bit of a receiving weapon out of the backfield with five catches for 43 yards. His team does like to mix up the run and the pass, so he is used to playing in an offense that passes that ball. This will help with his blocking skills.
So what would his role be next year? Ideally, he would redshirt, but there is not a ton of depth behind Bolden, McBurse, and Dierking. Right now I would those three players on the depth chart in that order, with McBurse closer to Bolden. Pegram's size could get him to the field next season instead of earn him for a redshirt. At 6' 210lbs he is already bigger than Bolden (5'9" 194 lbs.) and McBurse (6' 198lbs). That might make him a bit of a punishing change of pace back where Bolden and McBurse tend to have more pure speed.