Earlier today I wrote about Purdue's current scholarship situation in regards to the 2016 recruiting class. There are few scholarships left in an already mediocre at best class. Well, it looks like the Boilers might have one more. Austin Appleby, Purdue's most experienced quarterback, appears to be on his way out of West Lafayette:
It was also confirmed he was at Western Kentucky's practice today, and the Hilltoppers need a quarterback next year with record setting quarterback Brandon Doughty finishing his career in the Miami Beach Bowl. Appleby, who has already spent four years at Purdue including one as a redshirt freshman, would be immediately eligible too, as he is in line to graduate in a few weeks and, thus, would be immediately eligible to transfer to any other FBS school for his final year.
This is interesting on multiple levels. First, you have the experiment of putting Appleby with an actual good offensive coordinator and coaching staff. Doughty has passed for 12,394 yards and 108 TDs against 32 interceptions at Western Kentucky. Those numbers are just absurd, and a credit to Jeff Brohm (head coach), Tyson Helton (offensive coordinator), and the rest of the staff. Appleby is a former Elite 11 QB and a natural leader. If he steps in and puts up Doughty like numbers in a pass happy offense it is a complete indictment of Darrell Hazell.
Second, this puts Purdue behind the eight ball in terms of QB depth. There is not a quarterback in the 2016 class and Hazell has said he has no plans to get one, so even if he changes his mind we're not exactly going to get a great QB in this class. The Boilers would be down to David Blough, Elijah Sindelar, and sophomore walk-on Aaron Banks who had to play an emergency snap against Indiana (at least he completed his Shoop-designed 4-yard out on 3rd and 5).
I do wish Appleby the best and I understand completely if he transfers. He only played late because Blough was knocked out and I doubt he wants to go through yet another QB fight where Blough would be favored going into the fall. He likely wants to play his final year, not ride the bench. He has been a stand-up kid during his entire Purdue career. I feel like he has done the best he could do with the hand he was dealt in Shoop. If he leaves (and it seems very likely), he will finish his Purdue career with 2,777 yards passing and 19 TDs against 19 interceptions. He also started 11 games and rushed for 290 yards and nine touchdowns.
Austin Appleby is not the reason Purdue has been so bad the last few years. He will leave with a Purdue degree in hand and knowing that he did the best he could. Can we really ask that much else of him?