2014 Purdue Football Recruiting: HS Season Wrap Up

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue's commitments won two state championships and generally played well in their 2013 high school seasons.

Of the now 16 Purdue football commitments, one was still playing in his state's tournament this past weekend. Austin McGehee, Purdue's new punter and possible placekicker given the struggles of Paul Griggs this year, was playing in the Arkansas Class 6A state championship game.

This game was originally supposed to be played a week earlier, but winter weather in Arkansas pushed it back to Saturday evening in Little Rock. It did not end in a third state championship for an incoming Purdue recruit. McGehee's Pine Bluff Zebras fell to Eldorado 31-24 when they could not convert a 4th and 19 with a minute left. McGehee hit on three extra points and a 40-yard field goal in the game. He was also involved in another critical play, as a high snap went over his head and was recovered at the 5 for an eventual Eldorado touchdown.

It was the second straight season that McGehee's team lost in the state championship game, and McGehee played a large role each time. This year his 34-yard field goal as time expired in the state semifinal broke a 50-game winning streak by Pine Bluff's opponent, Greenwood.

That brought to a close the high school season for Purdue's recruits. Here is how all of their teams fared with stats as I could find them:

Martesse Patterson - Marion Franklin Columbus, OH - OL - Marion Franklin went 12-2 and reached the Ohio Division III state semifinals. That is where they lost 17-9 to St. Vincent-St. Mary, more famously noted as the high school of Lebron James. Patterson played a big role in blocking for a passing game of nearly 1,500 yards and 15 TDs as well as a strong running game of over 3,000 yards and 43 touchdowns.

Juan Jenkins - Gainesville HS, FL - S - Gainesville went 9-3 on the season and qualified for the Class 6A Florida high school playoffs. They won their opening game of the tournament before falling in round 2 to Springstead 27-7. MaxPreps does not list his stats despite having a bunch of others.

Cole Herdman - Flint Hill School, Oakton, VA - This was covered in today's commitment post on him, but he caught 12 passes for 203 yards and 7 touchdowns as Flint Hill finished 6-4. Apparently they did reach the Virginia state semifinals in that few games before losing 27-14 to Collegiate.

Will Colmery - Nazareth Academy, LaGrange, IL - DE - I couldn't really find stats for Colmery, but his team reached the second round of the Illinois Class 5A playoffs and lost. They finished the season with an 8-3 record.

Simmie Cobbs - Oak Park-River Forest HS, IL - WR - Cobbs' team also reached the second round of the Illinois playoffs, but in Class 8A. His team finished 10-2 and Cobbs earned high praise for his play in this article. He could switch to defensive back at Purdue, which would be impressive at 6'4".

Tim Cason - Clarkston HS, MI - DB - Cason's Clarkston team won the Michigan Division I state championship with Cason playing a huge role at defensive back. There is a great page devoted to the team with a ton of articles and highlights here.

Gelen Robinson - Lake Central HS, IN - DE/LB- Purdue's highest rated recruit saw Lake Central win the IHSAA Class A Sectional 1 title, the school's first sectional title in 14 years. Lake Central finished 9-3 but avenged a loss to Merrillville in the sectional that cost them a conference title. As expected, Robinson was a beast to deal with all season long and he is seeking a repeat this winter as a wrestling state champion before he tries to win another state championship in the discus this spring.

Denzel Ward - Simeon HS, Chicago, IL - OT - Ward attended Chicago's Simeon HS, but did not play after transferring from the IMG academy in Florida.

David Blough - Creekview HS, Carrollton, TX - QB - Blough's final stats on the season: 121 of 227 for 1,549 yards, 14 touchdowns, 3 interceptions. He also rushed for 393 yards and six TDs. His Carrollton Creekview team finished 6-5 with a loss in the Class 4A Division I playoffs.

Austin McGehee - Pine Bluff, AR HS - P - As mentioned above, McGehee was punter and kicker on a state runner-up team in Arkansas' class 6A. They did not list his final kicking stats, but he often made at least one FG per week.

Gregory Phillips - Arabia Mountain HS, Lithonia, GA - WR - Arabia Mountain had a successful season at 7-3, but did not qualify for the Georgia state playoffs. It was the best season in program history, but his stats were also hard to come by.

Kirk Barron - Marian HS, Mishawaka, IN - OL - A year after playing in the Class 3A state championship game Barron's Mishawaka Marian HS finished 4-6 with a first round sectional loss.

Trae Hart - First Baptist Academy, Dallas, TX - WR - Hart became the second future Boilermaker to win a state championship as First Baptist rolled to an undefeated season and won the Texas private school championship. For the season Hart led his team in scoring with 23 total touchdowns, five PAT kicks, and a two-point conversion. He caught 54 passes for 1,064 yards and 14 TDs and rushed four times for six yards and another score. That left eight more TDs he scored via punt return, kick return, interception, or fumble recovery.

Brandon Roberts - Lowndes HS, Voldosta, GA - DB - Lowndes made the third round of the Georgia 6A playoffs before falling to Norcross 28-7. They finished the season 9-4 and Roberts had a pretty big season for them. In his second to last game he was assigned to cover Preston Williams, one of the top receiving recruits in the country.

Jawhaun Bentley - DeMatha HS, Hyattsville, MD - LB - DeMatha is a very well known high school basketball power, but they played in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championships and won the title this season. Bentley had a big season with 113 tackles, 26 for loss, four sacks, and an interception.

Keiwan Jones - Dunnellon HS, Dunnellon, FL - DT - Dunnellon went 6-4 on the season and did not qualify for the Florida state playoffs. There were very limited stats for him, and Jones could be moved to linebacker of defensive end anyway.

Finally, here are two more charts. The first represents the composite rankings for each player and the class as a whole for the three major recruiting services:

Player

Rivals

ESPN

Scout

Kirk Barron

2-star

3-star

3-star

David Blough

3-star

3-star

3-star

Trae Hart

2-star

3-star

3-star

Austin McGehee

2-star

3-star

3-star

Gregory Phillips

2-star

3-star

2-star

Gelen Robinson

4-star

3-star

3-star

Denzel Ward

3-star

3-star

3-star

Tim Cason

3-star

3-star

3-star

Keiwan Jones

2-star

unranked

2-star

Simmie Cobbs

3-star

3-star

2-star

Brandon Roberts

2-star

3-star

3-star

Jawhaun Bentley

3-star

3-star

3-star

Martesse Patterson

2-star

3-star

3-star

Will Colmery

3-star

3-star

2-star

Juan Jenkins

3-star

3-star

2-star

Cole Herdman

2-star

unranked

unranked

CLASS RANK

58th Nationally, 11th of 14 in B1G

Not in top 40 Nationally

63rd Nationally, 12th of 14 in B1G

Second, we have the full scholarship chart, showing that Herdman's commitment earlier today puts Purdue at 83 of 85 scholarships used for next season:

Player

('14-'15)

('15-'16)

('16-'17)

('17-'18)

Gabe Holmes

Senior (5)

Akeem Hunt

Senior

Brandon Cottom

Senior

Raheem Mostert

Senior

Jalani Phillips

Senior

Taylor Richards

Senior

Charles Torwudzo

Senior (5)

Justin Sinz

Senior (5)

Josh Davis

Senior (5)

Jack DeBoef

Senior (5)

Jesse Schmitt

Senior (5)

Ryan Russell

Senior (5)

Sean Robinson

Senior (5)

Joe Gilliam

Senior (5)

Antoine Lewis

Senior (5)

Landon Feichter

Senior (5)

E.J. Johnson

Senior (5)

Danny Anthrop

Junior

Senior

Paul Griggs

Junior

Senior

Thomas Meadows

Junior

Senior

Ryan Watson

Junior

Senior

Anthony Brown

Junior

Senior

Dolapo Macarthy

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Shane Mikesky

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Robert Kugler

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Michael Rouse III

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Armstead Williams

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Frankie Williams

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Austin Appleby

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Bilal Marshall

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Robert Gregory

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Jonathon Curry

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Aloyis Gray

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

B.J. Knauf

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Cameron Posey

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Jordan Woods

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Carlos Carvajal

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Ryan Morris

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Cameron Cermin

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

J.J. Prince

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Joey Warburg

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Jason King

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Jordan Roos

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Andy Garcia

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Jimmy Herman

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Danny Etling

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Dayln Dawkins

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Dan Monteroso

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

DeAngelo Yancey

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

RaZahn Howard

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Evan Panfil

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Jake Replogle

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Leroy Clark

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Austin Logan

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Keith Byars II

Freshman (RS)

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Keyante Green

Freshman (RS)

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

David Yancey

Freshman (RS)

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Myles Norwood

Freshman (RS)

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Matt Burke

Freshman (RS)

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Jason Tretter

Freshman (RS)

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Johnny Daniels

Freshman (RS)

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Antoine Miles

Freshman (RS)

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

John Strauser

Freshman (RS)

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Johnny Thompson

Freshman (RS)

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Danny Ezechukwu

Freshman (RS)

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Dezwan Polk

Freshman (RS)

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Da'Wan Hunte

Freshman (RS)

Sophomore (RS)

Junior (RS)

Senior (5)

Kirk Barron

Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

David Blough

Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Trae Hart

Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Austin McGehee

Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Gregory Phillips

Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Gelen Robinson

Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Denzel Ward

Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Tim Cason

Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Simmie Cobbs

Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Will Colmery

Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Jawhaun Bentley

Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Keiwan Jones

Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Brandon Roberts

Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Juan Jenkins

Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Martesse Patterson

Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Cole Herdman

Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Total Scholarships Used

83

66

55

29

Total Scholarships Left

2

19

30

56

The key points behind this one:

  • Gabe Holmes is confirmed returning after a wrist injury cost him all but two games of his 2013 senior season. He had not used his one redshirt year available yet, so he is a fifth year senior.
  • It looks very likely now that Rob Henry will not pursue a sixth year due to his injury in 2011. His exit interview a few weeks ago made it very clear that he is planning beyond football already and said nothing of a sixth year.
  • Cason, Blough, and Barron have been mentioned as early enrollees that want to come in January and go through spring practice in April.
  • GBI has mentioned that there were more than three spots open after the commitment of Jenkins yesterday. As you can see above, the list is now down to two and includes all 16 current commitments. Any openings beyond those would be players leaving the program early. I don't know anything official, but I have a guess on three:
  • Josh Davis - The fifth-year senior to be was injured for much of the season and it street clothes. He has seen action in just two games in the past four seasons and GBI mentioned that his return is questionable due to his injuries. If he does not return or goes on medical scholarship it frees up a spot for 2014 only since he would have been a fifth year senior.
  • Jordan Woods - Woods was the second player in the infamous Kohl's incident that got B.J. Knauf suspended for a pair of games. Woods' suspension was indefinite as opposed to just two games due to other incidents according to coach Hazell. The last "indefinite" suspension handed down by coach Hzell was to O.J. Ross, who never returned. Woods was a redshirt freshman this past season and did not play at all, so if he does not return it would give Purdue a spot for three years.
  • Taylor Richards - Richards, of course, was recently arrested for DWI and underage drinking, which is far more serious than stealing a $20 item from Kohl's. Richards would be a senior in 2014, but since he has not used his redshirt year a full season suspension, like what happened with Tarrence Crump in basketball, would allow him to return in 2015, but he would also still count against the scholarship limit in 2014 unless it was revoked and he paid his way like Justin Siller. Richards had the most playing time of the possible departures by far as he was a starter most of this season and was No. 3 in tackles.

Regardless of how it shakes out, Purdue looks to have 58 scholarship players on the roster next season that have three years of eligibility or more remaining. That means any turnaround starts with them and there will be a lot of promise for 2015 if things look drastically better.

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