Many of the top programs in college football have multiple recruiting classes going at once, but it has been a very long time since Purdue football has gotten a high school junior to commit early. It is more than a year before they can sign, but the Boilermakers and Darrell Hazell now has his first commitment in the 2014 class even without the 2013 class done and signed as yet.
Brandon Garner (not the MMA fighter), a 6' 200 pound safety from Mansfield, Texas, committed today after he originally was offered by Danny Hope. He played this past season for Timberview High School, which was only 3-7 this past season. He was getting interest from Temple, Illinois, and Arizona State, but since he is only a junior there is still time for a number of other schools to come calling.
Offensively he had 15 catches for 150 yards and a touchdown (Ed.Note: Brandon contacted me via Twitter to tell me those were his freshman year stats), but he is coming in as a safety, which is clearly a position of need. By the time he arrives Landon Feichter will be a senior and so will Taylor Richards. E.J. Johnson also hasn't been the player I hoped he would be at the position either.
ESPN's testing results don't look too great, but it is still early. I don't know what his star rating will be either since most 2014 kids won't be rated until this coming summer at the earliest. He was an all-District player despite his team's record:
Honoring Timberview on the 7-5A team were receiver DeAndre Fuller, running back Josh Smith, offensive tackle Armani Smith, linebackers Damian Walker and Brandon Garner, safeties Brandon Simmons and Trevor Walker, defensive tackle Alejandro Anzeldua and cornerback Edward Paris, who was also a first-team All-State selection.
Here is what ESPN had to say:
Garner, a player who has lined up at multiple positions for Timberview, verbally committed to Purdue and became the Boilermakers' first commit of the 2014 recruiting class. Garner has played wide receiver and outside linebacker, but he said he was recruited to play strong safety in the Big Ten.
It looks like he is a pretty solid player if he is already being followed by most of the major recruiting services, and if he wants to be a Boilermaker it is nice to see him take the lead in this class. Welcome aboard, young man!