Purdue's defense finished among the worst in the nation this season, this afternoon the Boilers got some big-time help on that side of the ball as Jawhaun Bentley, a 6'2" 245 pound linebacker from Maryland committed during his official visit.
First of all, let's applaud because WE ACTUALLY HAVE A BIG TEN-SIZED LINEBACKER!!!!!!
Seriously, I can't stress this enough. The Purdue two-deep plays hard, but here is what they were listed as this season:
Sean Robinson - 6'3", 240 pounds (converted quarterback)
Andy James Garcia - 6' 218 pounds
Armstead Williams - 6'3", 230 pounds
Collin Link - 6'2" 208 pounds (walk-on)
Joe Gilliam - 6'1", 225 pounds
Will Lucas - 5'11", 236 pounds
Lucas has graduated, but that is seriously undersized at the position. Michigan State's vicious defense is all above 230 pounds of nastiness. Ohio State is all 6'2", 230+. You need big linebackers in this league or you will die, as Purdue has died for years. The Boilers now have two guys in Bentley and Gelen Robinson that if they stay at linebacker (moving to DE is possible for both) actually look the part!
Bentley is a 3-star pickup according to Rivals, a 3-star according to Scout and No. 93 at his position, and a3-star and No. 43 at his position according to ESPN. Purdue beat out Boston College, Iowa, Marshall, Maryland, and several other schools for him, while Alabama had at least showed some interest.
Here are his junior year highlights:
I know it is rare to get excited about a 3-star commit, but this is a desperately needed pickup after losing Drue Tranquill to Notre Dame. It is a shame Tranquill didn't stay on or Purdue would have three impact players now at positions of desperate need that have the potential to start from day one and improve areas that have been major holes for a decade.
It remains to be seen if Bentley can play from day one, but at least one starting spot will be open with Lucas graduating. The unit didn't exactly set the world on fire, either, as it was terrible on third downs and repeatedly got gashed on the ground. Bentley will at least get a look because hey, it can't get much worse.