Wednesday is National Signing Day for Purdue. Yes, we're contractually obligated to cover it for SB Nation. That doesn't mean it is going to be good news. With 20 players committed (and by my math Purdue is at least two scholarships over the limit, so expect some transfers this offseason) Purdue is bringing in a decent amount of new bodies. Only one of them is expected to play immediately with zero competition, however, and that is kicker J.D. Dellinger. Even then, he is only expected to be the guy because Purdue currently lacks a scholarship kicker.
How bad is it?
- Purdue is rated 76th nationally according to Rivals, tied with Cincinnati (who comes to Ross)Ade in September after beating us 42-7 in 2012. It is ahead of only Rutgers, and not by much.
- According to Scout the class is rated 86th nationally. This is dead last in the Big Ten by a lot.
- Purdue is likely nowhere near the top 40 on ESPN. The rest of the rankings are Insider only, but I have already spent enough money to be angry about Purdue football.
- Coy Cronk is committed to Indiana as a 4-star offensive lineman. Not only was Purdue unable to get him despite needing line help, he grew up IN LAFAYETTE, plays for LAFAYETTE CETNRAL CATHOLIC, and Purdue DIDN'T EVEN OFFER HIM.
That last bit should tell you all you need to know about the sad, sad state of Purdue football recruiting. Purdue is not even in the mix for any of the top players in a state that already does not have a ton of football talent. Even Danny Hope had the plan to get some overlooked talent out of Florida pretty regularly. Like many other things, it looks like there is no over-arcing plan whatsoever.
And I really don't want to rip on the kids that are coming. I am sure they are good kids and can be decent players. They are going to be part of the Purdue family in less than 48 hours and I wholly support them for joining us. When they play on Saturdays I will continue to support the players 100% just as I have been doing.
Still, this is a 6-30 team that is basically going to try and roll it back on a disaster of a year with many of the same players and hope a few coordinators make a difference. Beating Indiana used to be expected. Now it is a pipe dream, and when our friends at Crimson Quarry are writing posts like this that are terribly accurate it stings. I have no delusions that Purdue is going to challenge Alabama any time soon, but for crying out loud, Indiana needed everything in the bag to scrape into a bowl game at 6-6 and it was a banner year. THEY ARE KICKING THE CRAP OUT OF PURDUE IN EVERY WAY RIGHT NOW!!!! INDIANA! THE WORST POWER FIVE CONFERENCE TEAM IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL HISTORY!!!! Yeah, we have rarely been great, but as recently as three years ago simply getting to a bowl game, which is the bare minimum level of success at the FBS level, was pretty much a given in any season.
And the saddest hing? If it wasn't for the fact that they are Indiana and I am conditioned to hate them, I would rather watch IU play football because at least they have an entertaining offense that scores points and at least gives them a chance to win. they are the #CHAOSTEAM and, admittedly fun to watch if they just weren't Indiana and kicking our heads in in every aspect of football right now.
We're talking about this in the office now. W-O-Whttps://t.co/E8NU4z62AL— Matt Brown (@MattSBN) February 1, 2016
Purdue basically has one chance to pull out of a trough that will otherwise take most of a decade to fix. It has to hope that several players, and I am talking 7-10, in this class blow up like a Dustin Keller or a Ryan Kerrigan. I don't have yearly class recruiting rankings, but I would be willing to say that this is the worst recruiting class in 20 years at Purdue.
There are a total of six players at the three-star level. 14 of them are two stars. Also, it is a JuCo heavy class with five players coming in with just two years of eligibility. If they don't come in and play as quality starters immediately they are basically wasted scholarships.
And it is not just the stars, either, it is who was offered. Purdue went after and got a pair of 2-star JuCo Defensive Ends because it lacked a significant pass rush. Why? Because 4-star Gelen Robinson, Antoine Miles, Evan Panfil, and a host of others that have already been here awhile have been disappointing. Purdue already has a ton of underclassman defensive backs, but it went after two more JuCo guys because it doesn't trust the returning players to perform.
Purdue is in deep, deep trouble if none of these guys overperform their current rankings. It might be in deep trouble even if a few of them do, which is no guarantee. There is not a lot to be excited about unless there are some major surprises this fall, and so far the only surprises that Hazell has shown himself capable of delivering is how to look completely overmatched and underprepared against even mediocre teams at home.
But that isn't a surprise anymore.