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4 Days To Purdue Football: O.J. Ross and Taylor Richards

I don't want to use the (rhymes with shmurse) word, but our history with four-star or better recruits over the last decade is not good. These guys should be can't miss players, especially at Purdue, where in desperate need of instant impact guys. Instead, the few four star or better players we tend to get flame out quickly. Al-Terek McBurse, Kyle Williams, Garrett Bushong, Selwyn Limon... The list is way too long for guys that came to our program with high expectations but fell flat. We currently have just three four-star athletes on our football roster (not counting the transfer Calvin Smith), but only one will start.

O.J. Ross - So.

Hometown: Ormond Beach, FL (Mainland HS)

Wide Receiver

5'10", 175 pounds

2011 projection: starter at wide receiver

A high school teammate of Ricardo Allen, O.J. Ross was the highest rated player in our 2010 recruiting class. He came in and played immediately, catching 11 passes for 149 yards and score in four starts before a nasty separated shoulder at Illinois ended his season. He also returned 12 kickoffs for 277 yards. He enters this season as one of our top projected receivers and a guy we need to count on if we're going to have a big season.

Ross combines excellent hands with pretty good speed, making him a nice possession receiver. He was one of the top players in Florida and we managed to grab him out from under Florida, Florida State, and Miami. The fact that Allen came with him (or did he come with Allen?) was a bonus.I, for one, am very excited to see what O.J. can do this year. I think he will be a huge key to the season.

Taylor Richards - Fr.

Hometown: Lake Mary, FL (Lake Mary HS)

Defensive Back

5'10", 180 pounds

2011 projection: possible redshirt

It's a common refrain for us, but Taylor Richards is another speedy player from Florida brought in to play in the secondary. Josh Johnson, E.J. Johnson, and Allen are similar types of players, and because of the sheer number of defensive backs we brought in last year Richards may redshirt.

His speed might get him on the field early though. he had six interceptions and 16 touchdowns as a senior at Lake Mary where he was used as a running back, defensive back, and receiver. In one game he had four picks, two returned for touchdowns, which makes me question the wisdom of the opposing quarterback for continuing to throw his way.

I'm not sure if Richards has a true position yet, but with his number he cannot be on the field at the same time as Ross, as much fun as it would be to have two #4's lined up in the back on kickoffs.

Boilermakings Notes:

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