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Purdue Football Recruiting: The Big Press Conference

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Coaches finally get to talk about the recruiting class, football, and life in general. The 5 early enrollees also get to answer a few questions.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

I listened in to the official Purdue press conference today. It's the first time the coaches are allowed to actually talk about recruits, so you can get a little more insight into the recruiting process and what the coaches are were looking for in players.

Of course, the coaches love all the players they are bringing to Purdue. I know some of you would prefer that they say, "Well, this kid is probably hot garbage, but you know, we've got to field a team, but in all seriousness, this kid is terrible." So you might be a little disappointed with the sunshine being pumped.

Disclaimer:

I'm paraphrasing for the most part. Some guys talked fast and while I have good typing skills, it's pretty hard to keep up with a few of the coaches.

Please forgive any grammatical or spelling mistakes. I'm rushing to get this out before the basketball game.

Hazell Overall Notes to Start the Press Conference:

On the Composition of the class:

18 Team Captains

11 kids from the "State of Purdue"

11 different states represented

2 different countries

2 Mr. Footballs

11 on defense

12 on offense

2 specialists

Coach Bridge (O-Line)

Bridge noted that it is Purdue's goal to develop the identity of being the most physical line in the Big 10.

Matt McCann:

Can play on either side of the line

Run through you, attack you kind of guy

Great hips, great feet, a real physical presence up front

Mike Mendez:

Targeted in the summer

From 6 hours South of Houston

Kept his recruitment quiet because Purdue felt like they had a real steal on their hands

Smart player

Peyton Truitt:

Woke up every morning and saw Ross Aide out of his bedroom window

Wants to be a Boilermaker

Aggressive, tough, physical

Runs off the football with an attitude

Drove 3 hours every Sunday to train in Chicago

Larry Wells:

Great pass blocking skills from a championship caliber program

All he knows how to do is win

Nasty and as big as advertised

Larry can't wait to run block, even though he didn't do it much in high school.

Coach Parker (Tight Ends):

Brycen Hopkins:

Learned about him last spring

6'5, 235

Basketball player

Great ball skills, can go up and get the ball

Well coached, played in 2 state championship games, winning one of them

Dad played in the NFL

Has only played football for 2 years

Played D-Line and T.E. this year

Jess Trussell:

On since the spring but committed late,

225 right now, but has a big frame, and well continue to get bigger

Should be able to go down the field vertically

Coach Williams (Running Backs):

Purdue signed 3 guys who are physically Big 10 backs

Tario Fuller:

Plays in extremely tough football county (Gwinnett County, GA)

Only played RB for 2 years

Fuller is full of energy and competes hard. Didn't know coach Williams was watching practice but was showing incredible energy. Watching that practice convinced Williams that Purdue needed Fuller.

Williams was "standing up on tables" for Fuller

Immediate impact on Special teams.

Speed to break away

Markell Jones:

Video Game stats

Don't want to get in front of him

Explosive in his hips, athletic and fluid

Can get out of the backfield and catch the ball

Immediate impact, told he was coming in to compete to start from day 1.

Knows what it's like to compete at an elite level.

Maxprep All American

Richard Worship:

Don't know how fast he is, but he doesn't get caught often

Load to get down, powerful running style,

He has a leaning head when he runs, similar to Keyante Green

Humble kid, quiet, but on all business when the pads go on

John Shoop (WR and QB):

I think some of you will find it amusing that Shoop started out his speech by hitting the wrong button for the highlight reel.

Goal was to find WR that could win 1 on 1 outside the number and win 50/50 balls

Wanted to get big and longer on the outside

Anthony Mahoungou:

Anthony's film convinced Shoop, got on twitter and found out he was French

One of Shoop's favorite recruits ever. He's a good guy the community is going to love.

Domonique "Domo" Young:

Marcus Freeman and Jim Bridge both went out to see him in Cali.

Outside the numbers, long, win 1 v1, ultra competitive

Great story of overcoming adversity

No plan B, just going to be a great football student, great student, and he's going to make it.

Uncommon work ethic.

Elijah Sindelar:

Jared Parker did a great job recruiting Elijah

Big time recruit, could have gone anywhere

Big athletic guy who is going to be an engineer.

Also a good basketball and baseball player.

Every person Shoop's son talked to at Sindelar's school told him what a great guy Sindelar is.

Sindelar has uncommon talent, but the way he is wired will make the difference.

Overall:

Almost recruited an entire line up.

Every guy on staff feels great. Great collaborative effort

5 midyear guys combined for 116 touchdowns last year

Coach couldn't understand, thought they said Davis...could have been Johnson: (Defensive Backs)

Looking for depth and length and mentality in the defensive backfield

Have to line up on the inside and outside to play in the Big 10

No such thing as a cover corner or cover safety

Andy Chelf:

Smart player, and understands the game

Plays at one of the highest level of high school football

Had to make calls and get everyone lined up on the back end of the defense

Did a good job on special teams. He's going to be effective on special teams

Evyn Cooper:

Most game film from offense or with the ball in his hands

Fell in love with Cooper before he got to Purdue.

6'3 190 but seems to keep getting taller.

Tremendous speed, impressive at track practice, a totally different level of speed.

He can go. He's going to put weight on

Will start career at corner but could move to safety with added weight.

He's a return guy on special teams.

State Champion 14-0 in Georgia

Mike Little:

Junior film looked good, put him on radar

Senior film has a wow factor and showed huge improvement.

All about football, serious, mature young man, great family, impressive young man.

David Rose:

Little late on David because they watched his film late.

Athletic, long, great ball skills, physical

Basketball player, scored 30 points in a basketball game last week.

Coach Freeman (Linebackers):

4 guys added in this class.

Lost 3 seniors and 2 starters.

Original plan was 3 recruits, but was too impressed with one recruit not to take 4

Markus Bailey:

State Champion

Athletic linebacker, multiple BCS offers

Connected on his unofficial visit with other linebackers on the squad, which sold him on Purdue.

Wyatt Cook:

Football State Champion

Individual State Wrestling Champion

Physical linebacker who is also productive

Cincinnati Elder coach called coach Hudson and said Wyatt Cook was a special player after playing Cook's team this year.

His brother is currently walking on as a safety

Wyatt is all about buisness, all about football, all about wresting

Serious young man who knows what he wants in life and will work to reach his goals.

Sawyer Dawson:

Athletic linebacker

Played a lot of safety in high school

Can play in space and coverage

Fell in love with Purdue on his unofficial visit this summer after hanging out with current linebackers.

Just a football player, he finds a way to make plays and is always around the ball

Tim Faison:

Tim was the 4th guy. The coaches made a spot for him.

Heck of a special team player.

Plays with a motor second to none.

Played mostly d-end in high school.

Similar to Danny E, played D-End but athletic and can make transition to D-End

Coach Carter (D-Line)

Note: Coach Carter talks fast

Group understands the demands of playing the position.

Fred Brown:

Aggressive, plays with natural leverage, penetrates,

Can work the edges

Uses hands really well

Good flexibility in his hips

Always within a 5 yard radius of the ball

Shayne Henley:

Mature JuCo kid

Aggressive

Bends the end

Understands the game always around the football on run plays

Always around the QB on passes

Can bend, gets through the gaps

Eddy Wilson:

Going to love the kid

6'4, 260 but will be 300 in no time.

Gym rat, loves the weight room.

He's also an excellent singer.

Quiet, but when the pads go on he has a motor that won't' end.

Coach Hudson (Specialists and Overall):

Specialists flip the field, can give you 40 yards of field position

Ben Makowski:

Good long snapper

Rated #5 LS in the country.

Came to camp and did a great job.

Can snap it fast and on target.

Athletic enough to get down the field and can bracket the ball in coverage.

Has the best basement of Purdue gear

Joe Schopper:

Came to camp, weren't in the market for a punter, but attrition opened up a slot.

Can do the 1 thing Purdue needs,flip the field

Has good hang time, allowing good coverage

Overall:

Addressed needs.

All guys they like, guys that like football, and good student athletes.

Up front big guys with length who are going to get bigger.

Linebacker can be 2 position guys.

Back end, guys who can play the football and be aggressive.

Coach Hazell (Interview):

(on WR recruits)

Went out and found wide receivers who can make you miss before and after the catch

(On overall goal of class)

Got more physical players because Big 10 is a physical conference. Looked for guys that played through injuries and will battle week in and week out.

(On RB recruits)

Went with physical guys at , can make yards after contact.

All 3 guys different, but can all break arm tackles.

Breaking tackles hypes up the rest of the team.

(On holding on to Eddy Wilson)

Got Eddy to commit and then everyone went after him

Every night they were battling another Big 10 off of Wilson

4 or 5 other teams tried to get him to flip over the last couple weeks

(On roster slots available)

Still have a slot if the right guy comes along

They have some flexibility

(On length at WR)

New recruits compliment guys in house.

Has a bunch of fast inside guys, but now they have some guys to work against corners and win one on one battles.

It's good to have those guys outside.

(On LB/DL attitude)

Nastiness was huge on the DL/LB

Purdue must be more physical and attacking everywhere on the field

Good to bring in nasty instead of having to manufacture it when they get to Purdue

(On the importance of long snappers)

Can't win w/o LS

A few jobs ago he lost 2 games because he didn't' have a LS

Ben was put through the paces, tried to break him and couldn't, had him snap 100 times, had him cover

Ben was solid from start to finish.

(On star ratings):

Been trying to tell people that stars don't mean everything

Coaches evaluated 3700 guys to get to a class of 25.

(On early signing period)

12 guys committed before senior year

Spent a bunch of time and resources on guys to keep them committed

December would be ideal for an early period

Gives recruits time to see schools, but gives them the chance to end recruiting early if they are sure

(On cost of attendance coming up in recruiting)

Only had it asked about twice this year


(On his thoughts on cost of attendance)

It depends if money is a fair amount for everyone

If it's not a fair amount it could become a recruiting issue and a battle between schools.

Player Interviews:

Markell Jones

(On the transition to college):

Easier transition than he though.

At airport flying 3 days a week.

(On replacing seniors):

Excited to get in early

Enjoys lifting, watching film

RB room full right now, and Coach Williams is going to play the best guy

(On his running style):

Adrian Peterson in terms of play style.

Physical downhill back with enough speed to get away.

Obviously not the same physical ability as A.D. but similar style.

Anthony Mahoungou:

(On his journey as a player)

Long journey

People will be more interested in story when he is at the top

Currently focused on having a good relationship with team mates.

Transition to football wasn't that hard

has a certain mindset, set goals high

Started playing football at 14.

Was playing soccer, but his people said he should play football.

Home town has best American football team in Europe. Went to all their games and practices.

Played on national team and world team.

Played in world cup in Texas.

He's always been a receiver.

Just likes to be on the field, will play whatever position you want.

(on the difference between West Lafayette and Paris)

People are nice

Not saying French people are rude...but...hahah.

People want you to succeed and will help you.

Not big, but everyone knows each other. People smile when you walk by them on the street.

(on the recruiting process)

In France, researched recruiting process

Watched all american game, national signing day, etc.

Was thinking he needed to go to JuCo for 2 years, but eligible to transfer after one semester.

Worked on the field and in the classroom at his JuCo.

Mike Mendez:

(On how did Purdue found him)

Coach Bridge called him once a week and after games on Saturday.

Kansas was talking to him about coming in early and he was glad Purdue offered him the same opportunity because he wanted to be a Boilermaker

West Lafayette is like his hometown, everyone is nice and knows each other

(On style of play)

Physical

Doesn't see pass plays as break time because he can handle the D-Linemen however he wants

Physical all the time

Elijah Sindelar:

(On knee injury and rehab)

Goes to therapy 5 days a week

Was cleared to throw 2 days ago.

On track to throw routes in the winter.

Very happy about where he is at.

(On Q.B. competition)

Other Q.B's are supportive and love to compete

Going to be a fun Spring and Fall.

Ben Makowski:

(On basement Purdue shrine)

Been coming to Purdue since he could walk

Dad studied aviation and so will he.

Everything you see in the bookstores is in his basement.

(On how he became a snapper)

Volunteered in middle school.

Friend convinced him to start going to Rubio camps.

Is excited how everything worked out.