Since it is a bye week there is an excellent chance to get caught up on football recruiting. As things stand right now, Purdue has not had a public announcement of a commitment since August 20th. Here is the full list with star rankings according to ESPN:
|Randy Gregory||DE||JuCo - Not evaluated|
Those 12 commitments make up a very solid class, especially with Gregory being a holdover from two years ago. Gregory also officially announced he was redshirting at Arizona Western College this season due to injury, so he will have three years of eligibility left when he arrives.
My aim in this entry is to give an idea of what needs there are and how many spots are available in this class. Football has an 85 scholarship limit and Purdue is currently close to said limit. The first way to find out how many spots are open is to figure up the number of seniors on scholarship. The following guys are in their final seasons are Purdue and are currently on scholarship:
2013 departures: Crosby Wright (awarded this season), Tommie Thomas, Caleb TerBush, Kawann Short, Akeem Shavers, Rick Schmeig, Gavin Roberts, Chris Quinn, Eric Mebane, Robert Marve, Robert Maci, Josh Johnson, Derek Jackson, Antwon Higgs, Nnamdi Ezenwa, Antavian Edison, Peters Drey, Max Charlot, Ralph Bolden
That opens up 19 spots. There could be 20, as Dwayne Beckford's scholarship will be open and he was a senior before being removed from the team. If Ralph Bolden does not play, however, and he applies for a 6th year he would take this spot. For now, Bolden is expected to play, so let's leave it at 20 open spots.
Also of note is Crosby Wright, a former walk-on who I believe was awarded a scholarship before this season. I am counting him as No 20 in this group. Ed. Note: Crosby himself confirmed he was on scholarship via Twitter.
Next we need to figure up the number of scholarship guys in each of the next classes, especially since we have a good idea of who is redshirting this year.
2014 departures: Cody Webster, Brandon Taylor, Devin Smith, O.J. Ross, Kevin Pamphile, Eric McDaniel, Will Lucas, Greg Latta, Justin Kitchens, Ryan Isaac, Rob Henry, Normondo Harris, Ruben Ibarra, Gabe Holmes, Trevor Foy, Cody Davis, Sterling Carter, Gary Bush, Ishmael Aristide, Ricardo Allen, Bruce Gaston
This class takes up 21 spots, meaning we're looking at half the roster turnover in two years.
2015 departures: Sean Robinson, Charles Torwudzo, Justin Sinz, Jesse Schmitt, Ryan Russell, Taylor Richards, Jalani Phillips, Raheem Mostert, Antoine Lewis, E.J. Johnson, Akeem Hunt, Joe Gilliam, Jack DeBoef, Josh Davis, Brandon Cottom,
This class is either true sophomores or redshirt sophomores. Robinson is listed as a junior, but he only played three snaps in 2011, so I think he can still count last year as a redshirt year. This takes up 15 spots, bringing us to 56 out of 85 scholarships being used.
This is where things get tricky. Both of the Williams', Rouse, Mikesky, and Kuglar are definitely gone in 2016 as they already redshirted. Anthrop, Brown, Griggs, Meadows, and Watson are true freshmen who have already played and will likely keep playing. This takes up 10 more scholarships, moving us to 66 used. I almost put Dolapo Macarthy here, but I think he is technically a walk-on, so I will leave him off until I hear otherwise.
2017 departures: Jordan Woods, Joey Warburg, Jordan Roos, James Prince, Cameron Posey, Ryan Morris, Bilal Marshall, B.J. Knauf, Jason King, Kingsley Ike, Jimmy Herman, Robert Gregory, Aloyis Gray, Andy Garcia, Jonathan Curry, Cameron Cermin, Carlos Carvajal, Austin Appleby.
These are all the true freshmen who have yet to play and, given that we have played two blowouts, would likely have gotten on the field unless they were redshirting. We can safely assume they are redshirting. This takes up 18 more spots.
Our final math:
2012 seniors on scholarship - 20
2013 seniors on scholarship - 21
2014 seniors on scholarship - 15
2015 seniors on scholarship - 10
2016 seniors on scholarship - 18
Total used scholarships - 84
There naturally could be some shifting between that 2016 and 2015 group depending on if some players get the redshirt pulled off of them or not, but for now we have one open scholarships\ in addition to the 20 that will be open at the end of this season. Like Wright, a walk-on can always be awarded a scholarship in the middle of their career. The most likely candidate would be starting safety Landon Feichter, who is a redshirt sophomore walk-on playing starter's minutes. Since we have him for two more seasons he would be in the group of seniors in 2014 if he goes on scholarship. Sam McCartney, currently kicking as a redshirt freshman, is another candidate along with Macarthy.
To evaluate the needs for the class of 2013 in recruiting let's now look at what we lose with the 20 departing seniors:
Starters: Wright (TE), TerBush and Marve (QB), Short (DT), Shavers (RB), Schmeig and Drey (OL), Johnson (CB), Maci (LB/DE), Higgs, Beckford, and Ezenwa (LB), Edison, (WR)
Key Reserves: Bolden (RB), Charlot (S)
Other: Jackson and Roberts (RB), Mebane (DE), Quinn (S), Thomas (WR)
Finally, the picture becomes clear. Purdue is losing four running backs, three offensive linemen, three linebackers (grouping Maci back there), Two quarterbacks, two defensive linesmen, two receivers, two safeties, a cornerback, and a tight end.
Some of those have already been replaced:
Four running backs - Keyante Green, David Yancey (currently playing RB but listed as athlete)
Three offensive linemen - Dwayne Johnson
Three linebackers - Johnny Thompson
Two quarterbacks - Danny Etling
Two defensive linemen - Parker Cothren, John Strauser, Randy Gregory, Jake Replogle
Two receivers - Myles Norwood
Two safeties - Austin Logan
Cornerback - Brisley Estime
Tight End - None
So there you have it. We have approximately 9 spots left to fill in the 2012 recruiting class to make it a class of 21. There can be fluctuations still. It seems like every year a player like Doug Gentry transfers out after redshirting, but there is always a deserving walk-on like Wright that is awarded a scholarship.
By the count here the biggest needs are tight end, offensive line, running back, and linebacker. I don't think we're going to go after another quarterback because we already have Appleby in waiting and Etling as the star of the class. With Marshall leftover from last year I think we're fine here.
For the open 10 spots there are some interesting prospects available based on the Rivals.com search feature. Tyvel Jemison from Fort Wayne Luers looks to be a solid defensive back prospect with modest interest. 6'9 tight end Nate Wozniak from Center Grove has narrowed his list to Purdue and Miami. He could easily become a dominant offensive linesman.
I think you'll see Purdue look for immediate depth at the skill positions of running back and wide receiver mostly. We have a boatload of offensive linemen that are already redshirting this year (King, Prince, Roos, and Warburg). The number of defensive linemen already committed can always shift to the other side of the ball, too.
So, there you have it. This is my best estimate as to where recruiting stands right now. Much of the rest depends on how the 2012 season continues.