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Welcome to the Fold: Dion Hanks and Jack Deboef

It has been a very busy week recruiting-wise. We had the announcement of two more commitments today. Jack Deboef is a 6'8" (holy crap!) offensive linesman from Pennsylvania, while Dion Hanks is a 5'10" defensive back from Florida. Hanks is a former high school teammate of sophomore-to-be Chris Quinn. Quinn is one of the few returning players that has some experience in the secondary, even if it was for just a handful of snaps. Both are three-star commitments according to Rivals, while we got a third 3-star guy when wide receiver Chevin Davis of Mainland trio was awarded a third star.

That gives us 13 players that are at the 3-star level or better right now, with Will Lucas and E.J. Johnson capable of joining that group once they are evaluated. Scout also lists Josh Davis and Ryan Isaac as 3-star guys, giving us a pretty damn good class. Compared to the last few years it is a great haul. Last year we had 9 guys at the 3-star level or better. 2008's class had 11, while 2007's had 12. It should be noted that Six of those 12 from 2007 are not currently on the roster (Brian Ellis, Justin Siller, James Shepherd, Derrick Sherman, Nickaro Golding, Malcolm Harris). Four of those six never played a down for us. Each class has featured one four-star guy. While these rankings aren't great, they show an upward trend for a team on the rise.

Deboef_medium Hanks_medium

Deboef (#55) and Hanks (#21) Give us more size and speed. Welcome to Purdue, gentlemen.

Jack Deboef - OL - State College, PA (State College Area HS) - How did we still this guy from under Penn State's nose? Deboef is our first offensive line recruit for 2010, though rumors are swirling that Josh Davis and Ryan Isaac could be moved to the other side of the ball. We can consider Jack still alive of the tracking report, as State College knocked off Mike Lee's Woodland Hills team last week in the Pennsylvania 4A state playoffs. The Little Lions are 11-2 on the year and will face Cumberland Valley (who eliminated Jeremy Cornelius and Bishop McDevitt) this week in the state semifinals. State College also faced Bishop McDevitt, who handed the Little Lions one of their two losses on October 30th. Deboef's team also faced punter Cody Webster and Central Dauphin East on October 18th, winning 21-3.

If anything, Deboef will come to Purdue with familiar faces all around since he has faced three of our other current commitments. He had some pretty good offers out there too. North Carolina, Illinois, North Carolina State, South Carolina, and Maryland all had offers for him.

Deboef plays center for an offensive line that has produced a 1,100 yard rusher and has almost 3,400 rushing yards as a team. State College does not throw the ball much, but they have almost 1,000 passing to offset the running game.

As for how he projects at Purdue, He will likely be a redshirt candidate because we almost always redshirt our offensive linesmen. Yes, we need a center, but at 6'8" and roughly 265 lbs. I would imagine the coaching stuff wants him to be in the weight room adding about 25-30 pounds of muscle. By 2011 I can see him as a big offensive guard that we pair with Ken Plue to have a solid interior line. After all, the one thing you can't teach is 6'8".

Dion Hanks - DB - Miami, FL (Edison) - Oh damn. What are we ever going to do with another speedy defensive back from South Florida? Hanks has allegedly been committed for about a month, but the news went public today. He comes from Edison high in Miami, the home of our own Chris Quinn as well as Connecticut late Jasper Howard. Edison is in a very rough section of Miami, so it is good to see him coming out of there for football.

Edison was just 1-9 this year, but obviously they have some talent. Quinn was able to play some as a true freshman for us this past season, Howard was on his way to the NFL as a mid-round pick before tragedy befell him this fall. Hanks even mentioned that his decision was influenced greatly by Quinn already being here.

Video from Hanks' junior season can be found here. Once again, he is speed personified. Also like our other defensive back recruits, he is expected to compete immediately in what will be a wide open battle for playing time in the secondary. He is probably more of a corner than a safety, but who really knows who is going to play. Just about the only guy you can pencil in as a starter is reserve safety Albert Evans. Everywhere else is up for grabs.

Hanks seems to have the raw talent to compete immediately. You don't play against the likes of a Miami Northwestern without having talent. Unfortuantely, like many of our other recruits he just doesn't have the D-1 experience yet. Your guess is as good as mine as to where he ends up next year. He could just as easily start the season opener at Notre Dame as redshirt.