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2017 Purdue Football Recruiting: Quarterback Thoughts

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The Legend has thoughts at the end of the year here on the Purdue’s quarterbacks and you’re gonna hear them.

CUSA Championship - Louisiana Tech v Western Kentucky Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The dust has settled, the recruiting class (for the most part) is in the barn, and optimism is on the rise in Boiler Nation. I think it’s a good time to look at what Purdue has coming back, and how they may fit into Jeff Brohm’s scheme.

As of this moment, Purdue doesn’t have a defensive coordinator, so I’ll start on the offensive side of the ball. I’m going to give you the best-case scenario for each returning and incoming scholarship player. Granted, there is no way each player reaches the “best-case scenario” but a new sheriff is in town, and players overlooked by the previous coaching staff have another opportunity to impress and play. Let’s start with the position Brohm was hired to fix: Quarterback.

Jeff Brohm comes into Purdue with the reputation of being a quarterback King Midas. At Western Kentucky, every quarterback he touched turned to gold. The first quarterback he worked with was Brandon Daugherty. Let’s take a look at his stats pre-Brohm and during Brohm.

Brandon Doughty Progress

Player Coach Year CMP CMP ATT CMP% YDS TD INT
Player Coach Year CMP CMP ATT CMP% YDS TD INT
Brandon Doughty B. Petrino 2013 RS SO 246 374 65.8 2857 14 14
Brandon Doughty Brian Brohm 2014 RS JR 375 552 67.9 4830 49 10
Brandon Doughty Brian Brohm 2015 RS SR 388 540 71.9 5055 48 9

Bobby Petrino is known as a quarterback guru as well, developing a raw Lamar Jackson into the Heisman winner this season, but Doughty’s jump in production from the Petrino system to the Brohm system is insane. Doughty went from an average Sun Belt QB to an NFL prospect (he’s the Dolphin’s 3rd string guy right now) in 2 seasons.

It doesn’t stop with Doughty, as Brohm worked alchemy on the Hill Toppers current QB Mike White as well. White struggled for two seasons under former Western Kentucky coach Willie Taggart at South Florida and subsequently transferred to play under Jeff Brohm at Western Kentucky. Much like Doughty, he quickly went from meh, to amazing.

Mike White Progress

Player Coach Year CMP CMP ATT CMP% YDS TD INT
Player Coach Year CMP CMP ATT CMP% YDS TD INT
Mike White Willie Taggart 2013 - FR 93 175 53.1 1083 3 9
Mike White Willie Taggart 2014-SO 122 242 50.4 1639 8 7
Mike White Brian Brohm 2016-RS JR 280 417 67.1 4363 37 7

Purdue returns 3 scholarship quarterbacks and currently have 2 quarterbacks committed for the 2017 class.

David Blough :

Blough took over the starting quarterback position midway through 2015 and held onto it for the entire 2016 season, to mixed results.

David Blough Progress

Player Coach Year CMP CMP ATT CMP% YDS TD INT
Player Coach Year CMP CMP ATT CMP% YDS TD INT
David Blough D. Hazell 2015 Fr 169 293 57.7 1574 10 8
David Blough Hazell/Parker 2016 So 295 517 57.1 3352 25 21

Where He Is Now:

Blough has plenty of talent, but is a gunslinger...in the worst sense of the word. He can drop a perfect touchdown pass on a dime one series and throw a mind numbingly bad interception on the next drive. He has good arm strength and accuracy when he is able to set his feet, but occasionally misses badly and generally to the other team, even with his feet set. He can make things happen on the move, but he gets greedy and forces balls into coverage instead of tucking the ball and getting a few yards or tossing it into the stands. At this point, he is too erratic to consistently win football games, but has an upside.

Best Case Scenario:

Blough has similar or better talent than both Doughty and White. There is no reason to think Brohm can’t help him cut down on the turnovers and improve his accuracy. Blough led the B1G in TD passes and was second in yards this season, but he also led the B1G in INTs. Next season, if he improves like the rest of Brohm’s quarterback charges, he will lead the B1G in every quarterback passing stat in the B1G except interceptions and Purdue will be a much improved team.

Elijah Sindelar:

Where He is Now:

Sindelar competed hard for the starting job in camp, but was going to have to be demonstrably better than Blough to take the job. I think Hazell was desperate for continuity at quarterback, and Blough provided that. Sindelar was less than stellar in his relief appearances throwing 3 INTs and 0 TDsin limited work. That said, he played at the end of blowouts and his performance shouldn’t be held against him. Sindelar has the physical attributes to be an excellent B1G quarterback, but hasn’t been able to dislodge Blough from the starting job.

Best Case Scenario:

Jeff Brohm being hired had to draw a fist pump or two out of Sindelar. Brohm attempted to recruit Sindelar to Western Kentucky while Sindelar was breaking Tim Couch’s Kentucky High School passing records. Sindelar will go into the spring with a fair chance to take over the starting job. Brohm has no incentive to maintain continuity at the quarterback program, so Sindelar just has to be better the Blough. That’s all you can ask as a competitor.

Jared Sparks:

Where He is Now:

Sparks came in as an intriguing 2* dual-threat quarterback prospect from Louisiana powerhouse Dutchtown High School and redshirted. Sparks came in as a raw prospect needing to work on being a quarterback in the pocket. He also came in as the most explosive runner at the quarterback position since...Brandon Kirsh....maybe?

Best Case Scenario:

Every position is up for grabs, including quarterback. Brohm hasn’t worked with many dual threat quarterbacks, but neither had Bobby Petrino and Lamar Jackson won the Heisman. If Brohm thinks Sparks’s dual-threat ability gives Purdue the best chance win, he will have the opportunity to play. If Sparks doesn’t win the starting job, I still expect to see him somewhere on the field. His playmaking ability is something Purdue was sorely missing last year. Sparks is a kid that can conjure yards out of thin air, and if nothing else, would make a great option on trick plays.

Nick Sipe:

Where He is Now:

I was fairly certain Purdue was going to lose Sipe. He put up great numbers for his Villa Park (CA) team this year, throwing for 2904 yards, 29 TDs and 9 INTs. I assumed one of the smaller west coast teams were going to pick him off, or one of the Pac-12 teams would make a move late to fill a hole in their class. As of now, I’m fairly certain we’re going to keep Sipe, barring a late move from a team like Washington, which I don’t see happening. Sipe is a 6’4, 200 pound 3* prospect that can spin it with the best of them. He is Purdue’s highest rated recruit in 2017.

Best Case Scenario:

Sipe has the arm talent to compete in the spring and fall camp. I would be pretty surprised if he won the job, but again, Brohm has no loyalty to anyone at this point, and the best player at the position will play. Ideally, if he doesn’t win the job, redshirting and spending a year learning the system wouldn’t be the worst thing for Sipe.

Griffin Alstott:

Where He is Now:

If there is one kid dedicated to this program, look no further than little Alstott. Coach came in and took away some offers that the former staff made to some players, if his last name wasn’t Alstott, he could have been victimized as well. His Senior well was very good, putting up some pretty numbers: 2,410 Passing yards, 31 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, with a QB rating around 105. He also added 8 scores on the ground and piled up 235 yards rushing. Not too shabby, albeit against some poor competition, as he attended Northside Christian High School where he played lesser competition.

Best Case Scenario:

He has shown the ability to play the quarterback position, we know he has football IQ coming from the Alstott tree. Brohm owes nothing to anyone, so he could come in and be blown away by Griffin’s football IQ. But, there is a log jam of Pro-style QB’s ahead of him with Blough, Sindelar and Sipe. I see Griffin more as an Athlete recruit and he could be moved around. Quite honestly, his build and running ability reminds me a lot of Rob Henry. Maybe we will see him in a different position, but I wish him best and I hope he comes in and dominates at QB, just to prove me wrong.