Today marks the start of fall practice for Purdue football, so it is appropriate that No. 29 is worn by a freshman.
Jimmy Herman - Fr. (RS)
Carmel, Indiana (Carmel HS)
6'4", 220 pounds
2013 projection: Contributor at linebacker
When GBI published it glossy preview magazine a few weeks ago Herman was in a very solid position for a guy coming off of his redshirt year. Joe Gilliam is projected to be the starting middle linebacker, but Herman was right behind him because of his ability to get from sideline to sideline. He was described as a playmaker that needed to get bigger.
That seems to be the M.O. of Purdue's entire group of linebackers. They need to be more and Herman could be answer to one of the biggest questions Purdue has as a team. Herman was mostly an outside linebacker for a pretty good Carmel team that he helped lead to a Class 5A state championship in 2011. That year he had 95 tackles, 12 for loss, and four interceptions. Tom Lemming has him as one of the best outside linebacker prospects in the country.
Herman will definitely get his chance, either this year or next. Even though Purdue has two solid recruits coming in next season in Drue Tranquill and Gelen Robinson, Herman can make an early impact and serve as sort of a mentor to those excellent talents.