Purdue got another solid verbal commitment from a very talented junior-college transfer early Tuesday morning when 6'5", 240-pound tight end Cole Hikutini told the coaching staff that he would like to become a Boilermaker. Hikutini converted from wide receiver to tight end for the City College of San Francisco and had 40 receptions for over 650 yards and 4 TDs for the Rams this season. The City College of San Francisco is California's largest community college (with enrollment of over 90,000) and also was a temporary stop for current Boilermaker offensive lineman David Hedelin.
This is Purdue's sixth early-enrollment recruit, adding to the list of players that will count towards the 2014 recruiting numbers. Hikutini will come to West Lafayette with just two years of eligibility remaining.
Full disclosure: I am a huge fan of the tight end position. I have family that played tight end in college and one that was D-1 and played (briefly) in the NFL. My cousin is an FBS tight end's coach. I love the stories that they've told me and I've learned a lot about their role and how important it can be. There's no other position like it in any other sport as it adds a complete wild card to the entire equation of what the opponent must defend against. It's also a very critical component to Hazell and Shoop's offensive scheme, which is why I was panicking last week when we had zero tight end recruits with 4 graduating and just 3 scholarship guys coming back (none of which that have a single catch as a Boilermaker). All of that changed this week when we got verbals from two very exciting recruits. Both of these kids will have an immediate impact in 2015 and I'm very eager to see what they can do.
Enjoy these videos of Hikutini via Hudl. I realize that highlights never show the lowlights, but he looks very fast and runs routes like a seasoned wide receiver. His blocking is not even close to B1G level, but I love his athleticism and speed. Welcome to West Lafayette, Cole!