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Purdue Football Recruiting: DB Recruiting

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Purdue is way ahead of the curve in recruiting defensive backs for the 2016 class. In fact, they are full up before the season has even started. Here is who we have, and this is why they are awesome.

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue football recruiting is on fire. Oh, and for the first time in a long time, it's not the scorched earth type of fire, but instead, it's more of a spicy salsa type fire...hot and delicious. (Now, before everyone freaks out, I started this article a while ago when we actually were on fire, and am just now finishing it, but I still feel like we are at least warm, perhaps more of a mild salsa at this point.) If everyone honors their verbal commitments, Purdue has already checked off their biggest position of need for this class, defensive back. It's possible that the small size of this class has pushed kids to make decisions earlier. It's also possible that Purdue is actually making some inroads in recruiting, and the Boilermakers are becoming a more palatable choice for high school athletes. Either way, I'm not going to complain.

Josh Hayes:

Purdue started their run with in state defensive back Josh Hayes. Josh was long considered a heavy Purdue lean, and decided to make it official sooner rather than later. It's always nice to pick up a solid in-state prospect early in the game.

Name/School

Position

Height

Weight

247 Composite

Josh Hayes /

Pike (Indianapolis, IN)

DB  (CB/S)

6'0

180

3* - 82

Quick Assessment (Disclaimer: I'm just looking at available highlight films):

Defense:

Hayes plays the boundary corner for the Red Devils, and that's where I see him at Purdue. Hayes does an excellent job of getting off blocks and shutting down the swing pass and wide receiver screens that have become ubiquitous in the spread offense. On deep routes, Hayes has the ability to turn and run with receivers down the field, and his size helps him cover the "jump ball" which is also in vogue. The only thing that may limit Hayes at the cornerback position is his top end speed, but his ability to get his hands on receivers and slow their initial break from the line somewhat mitigates that issue.

Overall:

Josh is the type of in-state player Purdue needs to consistently recruit. Purdue has a need for defensive backs in this class, and went out and got the best one in Indiana. Hayes is a solid 3* player, and while his ranking has fluctuated a little over the last few months, expect him to only move up in the rankings during the season. Hayes has the physical ability to compete early. His ability to play will rest on his ability to pick up the speed of the college game.

High School Career:

Pike doesn't update stats to MaxPreps (get on that Pike, you're making my job harder).

Recruitment Information:

Other Offers:

None

Note: Josh was receiving plenty of attention from other Big 10 and Mac schools before committing to Purdue.

Lead Recruiters:

Taver Johnson, Gerad Parker

Highlights:

http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1668482/josh-hayes

http://www.maxpreps.com/athlete/josh-hayes/RHja2ABsEeOZ5AAmVebBJg/default.htm

Jake Long:

Jake Long was the next defensive back to jump on the Boilermaker Express to winsville.

Name/School

Position

Height

Weight

247 Composite

Jake Long/

Hamilton Township (Columbus, OH)

DB (CB/S)

6'0

180

3* - 80

Quick Assessment:

Defense: Jake has excellent closing speed at the boundary corner position, he might get beat initially, but he doesn't stay beat long. When the ball is in the air, Jake closes quickly, and is able to make a play on the ball. He isn't a huge hitter, but he does get manage to get the ball carrier on the ground. His size, speed and skill set will translate to either a boundary corner or safety in college.

Offense: Jake plays both wide receiver and running back. At running back, when Jake finds a crease in the defense, he's gone. He runs past the second level of the defense with ease. Jake also shows solid hands coming out of the backfield, able to catch the ball smoothly, without breaking stride. At wide receiver, Jake doesn't run polished routes, but it doesn't matter, because as I mentioned before, he is fast. When the ball is in the air, Jake is going to run it down and make a play. This skill will come in handy on the defense.

Overall: You either show up on campus with elite speed, or you don't. Yes, you can get faster with technique and training, but you're not going to get that much faster. Jake will walk onto campus as one of the fastest players on the field. That bodes will with his ability to play early for the Boilermakers. He is another player that will come in with the physical skills, and playing early will all depend on his ability to get up to speed mentally with the college game.

High School Career:

Jake's high school career is a little hard to follow because he started his high school career at Ashland High School in Kentucky but is now at Hamilton Township in Ohio. Ashland (like Pike) doesn't enter player stats into Maxpreps.

Recruiting Information:

Other Offers:

Power 5: West Virginia, Virginia

Other: Ball State, Indiana State, James Madison, Miami (OH), Ohio, Robert Morris, Toledo

Lead Recruiters:

Taver Johnson, Marcus Freeman

Highlights:

http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2785269/jacob-long

http://www.maxpreps.com/high-schools/ashland-blazer-tomcats-(ashland,ky)/football/videos.htm?videoid=784274ad-0b94-454c-826c-eb86544d642a

Brandon Shuman:

Brandon Shuman decided to reserve his spot in the future Purdue secondary the day after Jake Long committed.

Name/School

Position

Height

Weight

247 Composite

Brandon Shuman / Gulliver Prep (Miami, Fl)

DB (CB)

5'11

170

3* - 83

Quick Assessment:

Defense:

Brandon Shuman doesn't play cornerback to knock the ball down or wall of a receiver, Brandon Shuman plays cornerback to make interceptions, and when he makes interceptions, he is heading the other direction post haste. Shuman puts himself in position to make interceptions, and does an good job of actually getting his hands on the ball. Now, it appears that the ball occasionally doesn't stick to his hands, but at least the opportunity is there to make a play. While Brandon has a somewhat narrow build, don't let that fool you, he is a willing tackler. In fact, he appears to play with somewhat of a nasty attitude, and isn't afraid to light a blocker up at the whistle if the opportunity arrises. In addition to his defensive prowess,

Special Teams:

Shuman is a solid special teams player who shows potential as a kick returner and isn't afraid to mix it up as a gunner on kick coverage. This ability may get him on the field sooner rather than later.

Overall:

Shuman has the speed to play boundary corner at Purdue, but in my opinion, his real value may be at the nickel position, using his quickness to lock up on slot receivers. He is also a willing special teams player who can both return and cover kicks. Purdue will have to play some serious defense to keep a player like Shuman in the fold over the long haul, but that's not a bad problem to have. Shuman will play as a freshman if he makes it to West Lafayette.

High School Career:

Once again, Shuman's team doesn't update stats to Maxpreps, so I've got nothing. I did see three interceptions on his junior tape.

Recruiting Information:

Other Offers:

Power 5 Offers: Cincinnati, Clemson, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, Virginia, Wisconsin

Other Offers: Akron, Alcorn St., Bowling Green, Colorado St., UConn, FAU, FIU, Georgia Southern, South Alabama, South Florida, Temple, Tulane, Utah St., Western Michigan

(Disclaimer: I have no idea how many of the Power 5 offers were actually actionable, but it's still a pretty impressive list)

Lead Recruiters:

Taver Johnson, Marcus Freeman

Highlights:

http://www.maxpreps.com/athlete/brandon-shuman/1hBFtCwnEeOZXQAmVebBJg/default.htm

http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2126554/brandon-shuman

Navon Mosely:

The final piece of the Purdue secondary puzzle fell into place on June 20th, when Navon Mosley decided Purdue could use another stud recruit in the secondary.

Name/School

Position

Height

Weight

247 Composite

Navon Mosley / West Bloomfield High School (West Bloomfield, MI)

DB (S)

6'0

180

3* - 80


Quick Assessment:

Defense:

Out of the 4 defensive backs currently committed, Mosley is the most natural safety. He plays free safety for his West Bloomfield team, and does an solid job of manning the middle and picking off any errant passes that come his way. His positioning is excellent on deep passes. He is good in run support as well, delivering heavy hits to any running back who dares break through the line, or any receiver that doesn't get his head around quick enough over the middle. He might need a little work on his tackling technique, but you can't dispute his aggression.

Offense:

On offense, Mosley is a crafting wide receiver with a penchant for finding soft spots in the defense, and then finding the endzone. He doesn't appear to have elite top end speed, but he is an aggressive runner who can pull off some nifty moves when given the opportunity. He is obviously the best athlete on his team, and is a solid high school receiver, but his future lies on the defensive side of the ball for the Boilermakers.

Overall:

Purdue wanted a safety in this class, and Mosley fits the bill. He is a smart player when the ball is in the air and a violent hitter when the ball is on the ground. I wouldn't consider him to be an elite athlete, but is certainly athletic enough to get the job done. Mosley is another guy that could see the field early, depending on the safety depth chart, and his willingness to be a special teams contributor early in his career.

High School Career:

I must have offended the stats reporting God, because West Bloomfield doesn't report to Maxpreps either. I saw at least 3 interceptions

on his tape to go along with several touchdowns on the offensive side of the ball.

Recruiting Information:

Other Offers:

Power 5 Offers: Illinois

Other Offers: Ball St., Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent St., Toledo

Lead Recruiters:

Not Listed

Highlights:

http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2995696/navon-mosley

http://www.maxpreps.com/athlete/navon-mosley/-3nygRvdEeOZ5AAmVebBJg/default.htm