With roughly two weeks to go until signing day Darrell Hazell's first class continues to grow by leaps and bounds. As I pointed out much earlier, there are roughly 21 open scholarships for the recruiting class of 2013. One of the biggest needs is at tight end, and it was filled tonight with the 15th commitment.
Matt Burke, a 6'6" 215 pound tight end from Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach, Florida became the latest Boilermaker to commit. Rivals rates him as a three-star commit. ESPN lists him as a two-star, with the tiebreaker going to Scout as a three star. He recently played in the U.S. Army All-American game where his interest shot up. Along with Purdue, San Diego State and a bunch of MAC programs were looking at him.
Burke comes in with talent that hasn't lit up the board in front of him. Gabe Holmes is continually a candidate for breakout player on the offense only to be forgotten in the Nordfense or injured. Carlos Carvajal has a ton of talent, but redshirted last year. Justin Sinz is the only other scholarship TE returning and he caught four passes for 48 yards and a touchdown this year.
Cardinal Newman had a very successful 9-2 season this year, losing 27-0 in the first round of the state Class 3A playoffs. They were still one of 16 teams to qualify in that class and University was the eventual champion. The other team that beat them? American Heritage, the team that lost in the second round to University.
Burke led his team with six touchdowns while catching 29 passes for 344 yards. He led the team in receptions as well. Cardinal Newman was primarily a running team with twice as many yards rushing as passing and an impressive sophomore running back (that maybe Purdue is also looking at?).
Newman is likely going to need to put on some weight as Sinz and Holmes each play at around 250 and a Big Ten TE has to be able to block well in the running game. His 6'6" height definitely has him as a red zone threat.
With Sinz, Carvajal, and Holmes the three main TEs next season Burke could have to play out of necessity if there is an injury or two. Otherwise, I expect a redshirt as he bulks up. I leave you with some highlights to judge for yourselves.