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2016 Purdue Football Recruiting: Positional Breakdown

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A breakdown of Purdue's needs and how the recruiting class of 2016 fills them (It is not good).

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

As we approach signing day the Purdue recruiting class is coming together, for better or worse. There really are not a any breakout names on the list with only a handful of 3-star prospects and a class that is in the 80s nationally. Is it a class of depth though? Let's see with a position-by-position breakdown of the scholarship players only (and yes, I know some walk-ons will play, but they don't affect recruiting much.)

Quarterback

David Blough - So (RS)

Elijah Sindelar - Fr. (RS)

Jared Sparks - Newcomer

Well, we're rolling the dice with youth. The safety blanket of Austin Appleby is gone, leaving Blough (beaten up last year), Sindelar (a redshirt that was recovering from a torn ACL), and Sparks (a 2-star incoming freshman). Since it is not unheard of to lose two quarterbacks in a season to injury Sparks is basically insurance. Maybe he develops into something more, but who knows.

Running Back

D.J. Knox - Jr.

Keith Byars II - Jr. (RS)

Markell Jones - So.

Keyante Green - Jr. (RS)

David Yancey - Jr. (RS)

Tario Fuller - Fr. (RS)

Richie Worship - Fr. (RS)

It is not a surprise that Purdue is going without a running back. We have seven, with Yancey and Worship looking more like fullbacks. None are seniors and Jones looks like a stud already. This group actually looks pretty set and former four-star recruit Keyante Green didn't even see the field last year.

Wide Receiver

Bilal Marshall - Sr.

Domonique Young - Sr.

Dan Monteroso - Sr.

DeAngelo Yancey - Sr.

Cameron Posey - Sr.

Gregory Phillips - Jr.

Anthony Mahoungou - Jr.

Trae Hart - Jr.

Benaiah Franklin - Newcomer

Terrance Landers - Newcomer

Jack Wegher - Newcomer

This is a top heavy position group. Yancey has been up and down in his career. Posey hasn't been the same since his freshman season. Marshall has done very little. Domo Young is a JuCo who finished 2015 strong. Phillips has had some moments too. Landers and Wegher may play simply to gain some experience before the receivers are depleted following 2016.

This is also where a walk-on factors in with Jarrett Burgess and his speed playing a decent amount last season.

Tight End

Jess Trussell - Fr. (RS)

Cole Herdman - So (RS)

Brycen Hopkins - Fr. (RS)

No additions here, and there are quite a few subtractions. Matt Burke, who has done nothing in three years, has now moved to defensive end. Purdue loses Jordan Jurasevich, though Herdman had a decent season with 18 receptions for 139 yards and two scores. Do Hopkins and Trussell have anything coming out of their redshirt?

Offensive Line

Jordan Roos - Sr. (5)

Jason King - Sr. (5)

Kirk Barron - So. (RS)

Bearooz Yacoobi - So. (RS)

Michael Mendez - Fr. (RS)

Peyton Truitt - Fr. (RS)

Martesse Patterson - So. (RS)

Joey Warburg - Sr. (5)

Matt McCann - Fr. (RS)

Cameron Cermin - Sr. (5)

J.J. Prince - Sr. (5)

Alex Criddle - Newcomer

Jalen Neal - Newcomer (JuCo, 2 years of eligibility)

Here is our first area of major concern. Purdue recently lost two of its better commitments and both were on the offensive line. Roos, King, Cermin, and Prince have all been playing for years, but are fifth year guys and will be headed out. Purdue has to replace two starters already and Neal was expected to start immediately, but will miss the spring after needing a science class to graduate from JuCo. Three freshmen are coming out of redshirt and must show they can be quality depth with the potential to start in 2017 or we could be in line for a disaster. Purdue is going to have to go very heavy on O-line recruiting in 2017.

Oh, and we still don't have an offensive line coach. No big deal.

Defensive Line

Matt Burke - Jr. (RS)

Shayne Henley - Sr.

John Strauser - Jr. (RS)

Langston Newton - Sr.

Evan Panfil - Sr. (5)

Ra'Zahn Howard - Sr.

Fred Brown - Fr. (RS)

Eddy Wilson - So.

Keiwan Jones - So. (RS)

Johnny Daniels - Sr. (RS)

Jake Replogle - Sr.

Will Colmery - So. (RS)

Antonie Miles - Jr.

Gelen Robinson - Jr.

Chazmyn Turner - Fr. (RS)

Austin Larkin - Newcomer (JuCo, 2 years of eligibility)

Lorenzo Neal - Newcomer

Anthony Watts - Newcomer

Well, I can say there are a lot of names here. That's about it. There is a good mix of youth and experience, but aside from Replogle is there anyone here that has been a good, solid contributor in every game? That's probably why Rubin Carter was fired. Randy Melvin returns after creating some of Purdue's best defensive linemen in its history and he has some talent to work with. The defense, like the offense, is only as good as the front lines are, and Purdue hasn't been good for a while. There has been no consistent pass rush and teams often run at will against us.

But look at the NAMES again! Barry Larkin's nephew! Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson's son! Lorenzo Neal's son!

Linebackers

Dezwan Polk-Campbell - Jr. (RS)

Ja'Whaun Bentley - Jr.

Garrett Hudson - Jr. (RS)

Markus Bailey - So.

Sawyer Dawson - So. (RS)

Jimmy Herman - Sr.

Danny Ezechukwu - Jr. (RS)

Tim Faison - Fr. (RS)

Andy James Garcia - Sr. (5)

Wyatt Cook - Fr. (RS)

There are no newcomers here and arguably the two best players (Bentley and Bailey) are coming off of an ACL surgery. All three starters are back and Garcia provides experienced depth. This is actually a pretty deep group with a lot of talent. If Bentley and Bailey both come back fully healthy we can easily go five deep and Hudson also has a lot of experience. It figures. We finally figure out the linebacker problem just as the rest of the team falls apart.

Defensive Backs

Da'wan Hunte - Jr.

Evyn Cooper - Fr. (RS)

Mylse Norwood - Jr. (RS)

Mike Little - Fr. (RS)

David Rose - Fr. (RS)

Brandon Roberts - So. (RS)

Leroy Clark - Sr.

Austin Logan - Sr.

Robert Gregory - Sr.

Andy Chelf - Fr. (RS)

Tim Cason - So. (RS)

Josh Hayes - Newcomer

Navon Mosley - Newcomer

Christopher Parker - Newcomer (JuCo, 2 years of eligibility)

Brandon Shuman - Newcomer

Kamal Hardy - Newcomer (JuCo, 2 years of eligibility)

We have a lot of defensive backs and a lot of newcomers, including two JuCos brought in to potentially play immediately. Are any of them any good? Purdue lost both starting corners and Hunte is the only returning corner with any major experience. Cooper and Rose were promising until getting into Hazell's doghouse last season for stealing bikes. Chelf is a mystery coming out of redshirt. Hardy could be an immediate contributor, but what does that mean for Clark and Roberts? This whole position group feels like a mess where we have no idea who is starting or if that talent can be a functioning unit together.

Specialists

Joe Schopper - So. (Punter)

Ben Makowski - So. (Long Snapper)

J.D. Dellinger - Newcomer (Kicker)

Makowski is fine as we rarely have had problems at long snapper in the past decade. Schopper was over 40 yards per kick and could boom the occasional deep one. 20 of his 59 punts were downed inside the 20, too. That leaves Dellinger as the biggest question mark. The freshman will come in and be handed the job right away after Paul Griggs was a disappointing 5 of 11 on field goals and had one kick made beyond 22 yards (and it was only 34). Officially, three other walk-on kickers were on the roster, but Dellinger will likely get the first crack at it.

So what does this all mean? There is not a ton of depth at quarterback. I think the offensive line is a mess and a potential nightmare in 2017. The defensive line and secondary all have a bunch of guys that I think are great backups, but are there any real Big Ten starters there aside from Replogle? Wide receiver has a ton of seniors that absolutely have to do more to help out young quarterbacks.

Purdue at least has good running backs and linebackers. Everywhere else, however...