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Purdue Football Recruiting: Just How Many Guys Do We Need?

Since we don't have a bowl game, the only thing we can truly talk about is recruiting. I have seen several posts where people are concerned that we have such a small class so far. We're roughly seven weeks away from signing day. We have a class full of 3-star guys and that's about it. It is a much smaller class when compared to our Big Ten brethren though.

Part of this reason stems from having a very small senior class this year. We lose only three starters on offense (assuming Keith Smith returns) and just two on defense. Both specialists return, with two starters (Kris Staats and John Finch) leaving on special teams. That means this next class could be more about depth rather than instant impact guys. In regards to stars, that could be a very good thing considering that we've had a lot of 2-star classes of late that were "depth" classes.

To get an idea on how many players we should expect, here is the current scholarship situation (only players on scholarship are on this list, with an 85 scholarship limit):

* - Denotes Joe Tiller recruited player

6th year seniors: 1

Keith Smith* - Contingent upon being granted sixth year by the NCAA

5th year seniors: 12

Justin Siller*

Nick Mondek*

James Shepherd*

Robert Marve

Logan Link (former Walk-on)

Joe Holland*

DeVarro Greaves*

Gerald Gooden*

Waynelle Gravesande*

Charlton Williams*

Jared Crank*

Adam Brockman (transfer)

Seniors (Redshirt is an option in case of injury since these players haven't used theirs): 6

Dennis Kelly*

Ken Plue*

Carson Wiggs*

Albert Evans*

Michael Eargle (former JuCo transfer)

Chris Carlino*

Juniors (2 years of eligibility remaining): 21

Ralph Bolden*

Sterling Carter (JuCo transfer)

Akeem Shavers (JuCo transfer)

Tommie Thomas*

Caleb TerBush* (If he returns to eligibility)

Kawann Short*

Rick Schmeig*

Gavin Roberts*

Chris Quinn (redshirt available)

Al-Terek McBurse

Robert Maci*

Josh Johnson*

Derek Jackson*

Antwon Higgs (redshirt available)

Nnamdi Ezenwa*

Antavian Edison (redshirt available)

Peters Drey*

LaSalle Cooks*

Max Charlot (former JuCo transfer) (redshirt available)

Andrew Brewer*

Dwayne Beckford* (redshirt available)

Sophomores (3 years of eligibility remaining): 22

Brandon Taylor

Connor Snapp

Xavier Reese (rumored to be transferring)

Kevin Pamphile

Xavier Melton

Eric McDaniel

Justin Kitchens

Rob Henry

Trevor Foy

Cody Davis

Gary Bush

Ishmael Aristide

Cody Webster (redshirt available)

O.J. Ross (redshirt available)

Sean Robinson (redshirt available)

Reggie Pegram (redshirt available)

Will Lucas (redshirt available)

Ryan Isaac (redshirt available)

Gabe Holmes (redshirt available)

Normando Harris (redshirt available)

Bruce Gaston (redshirt available)

Ricardo Allen (redshirt available)

Redshirt Freshmen (All four years of eligibility remaining): 12

Josh Davis

Jack Deboef

Rashad Frazier

Joe Gilliam

E.J. Johnson

Mike Lee

Antoine Lewis

Jonathan Linkenheimer

Ryan Russell

Jesse Schmitt

Justin Sinz

Charles Torwudzo

By my math, that leaves us with at most 74 players already on scholarship for the 2011 season. I am not sure on Logan Link's status, as he is a former walk-on. Xavier Reese is allegedly transferring as per his facebook status, while Caleb TerBush is a question mark given his eligibility status and the current depth at quarterback. One would have to assume that if he did return, he would be at the back of the line behind Marve, Henry, and Robinson. Adam Brockman is also considered a walk-on, but like Link, he will probably be on scholarship as a senior.

We could have as little as 11 (assuming Link, K. Smith, and Brockman are all on scholarship next year) or as many as 16 open spots. 16 will only happen is Reese is indeed transferring, Smith is denied, Link and Brockman stay as walk-ons, and TerBush doesn't return or transfers. Right now we have the following 10 commitments (not counting Shavers and Carter, who have already signed and are in the list above):

Russell Bellomy

Brandon Cottom

Rob Kugler (hat tip to reader Tim Brown for reporting he is a state champion)

Doug Gentry

Randy Gregory

Akeem Hunt

A.J. King

Shane Mikesky

Taylor Richards

Michael Rouse III

This means we only have 1-5 spots left to give out. If I were to guess, I would say that Keith Smith gets his sixth year, while Link and Brockman will be awarded scholarships after spring practice if there is room. I think Reese is gone, while TerBush is a wild card. That leaves two scholarships left to fill for sure, with the Link/Brockman/TerBush spots as play.