Yesterday Darrell Hazell completed his fourth class since becoming Purdue's coach. Because of that, very few players remain that were recruited by Danny Hope. Those players are fifth year seniors this fall and many are either regular starters or career backups by now. It also means the excuse of not having his own players is gone for coach Hazell.
Even though many of the members of the 2013 recruiting class were originally recruited by Hope, Hazell was hired in December and had a full 2 months to either hold on to them or recruit new guys. Therefore, we're giving him credit for that class because he had to hang on to those players. He also brought in a few others.
I saw a great Tweet yesterday in regards to recruiting:
When you think about team building remember what @SBN_BillC says. It's about acquiring, developing and deploying talent. Three bins.— Richard Johnson (@RagjUF) February 3, 2016
With that in mind, this class should be contributing right now as starters or at the very least regular reserves. Let's review his first recruiting class and see where they are today. Just like this class, there were 23 commitments back in 2013.
Matt Burke - TE - Burke was a promising three-star TE from Cardinal Newman HS in West Palm Beach, FL. After redshirting in 2013 he has not played a single down to my knowledge and has accumulated no stats. It doesn't seem like he factors into any future plans, either, despite Purdue needing more out of its tight ends. Verdict: Miss
Keith Byars II - RB - Another son of a former NFL player, Byars also has yet to play in his first three years on campus.He was limited by a shoulder injury for at least one season, but is buried on the depth chart. Verdict: Miss
Leroy Clark - S - Clark was a four-star prospect according to ESPN and led the team in tackles with 88 this past season. Even then, Purdue went heavily after safety help. He enters his senior season having played in 35 of a possible 36 games with 130 total tackles and two interceptions. He will likely be a starter this fall. Verdict: Hit
Johnny Daniels - DT - Daniels was a two-star prospect and has not amassed any stats in three years. He is also buried on the depth chart at defensive tackle. I don't know if he has played at all. Verdict: Miss
Dalyn Dawkins - RB - Dawkins ran for 867 yards and two touchdowns while catching 24 passes for 178 yards and a score last season. Too bad he did it for Colorado State. He transferred there after rushing 32 times for 115 yards and catching 9 passes for 84 yards as a true freshman in 2013. He was also a 4-star by at least one service. Verdict: Miss
Danny Etling - QB - Etling was supposed to be the next great Purdue quarterback and showed some flashes of it behind a porous offensive line in 2013 when he was thrown to the wolves as a true freshman. Eventually he threw for 2,490 yards and 16 TDs against 12 interceptions, but was benched for Austin Appleby and has since transferred to LSU. He has two years left and will try to win the starting job this fall. Verdict: Miss
Danny Ezechukwu - LB - Ezechukwu has blossomed into a starter and a quality outside linebacker after redshirting in 2013. He has 67 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, and 5 tackles for loss as he enters his third year as a starter. He also had a 90 yard fumble return for a touchdown against Virginia Tech last season Verdict: Hit
Keyante Green - RB - Green was the third player in the class that was rated as a 4-star by at least one recruiting service. He redshirted in 2013, then played in nine games and rushed for 199 yards in 2014. It looked like he would get a lot of carries in 2015, but didn't play a down. I am honestly shocked he has not already transferred, because he was clearly in Hazell's doghouse last season. Verdict: Miss
Ra'Zahn Howard - DT - Howard has had an up and down career. His redshirt was burned midway through 2013 and he started to look rather promising. His minutes dropped off last season, however, and he enters his senior season with 47 tackles and three sacks in his career as a part-time starter. Verdict: Partial Hit
Da'Wan Hunte - DB - Hunte has been a decent reserve at cornerback the past two seasons behind Frankie Williams and Anthony Brown after redshirting in 2013. He has 20 tackles and two sacks, but Purdue recruited a ton of defensive backs since then, so he is in a fight if he wants to start as a junior this fall. Verdict: Partial Hit
TyVel Jemison - DB - Jemison was a very promising safety, but never made it to Purdue after signing. He reportedly went to Division II Grand Valley State but he is not currently on the roster. Verdict: Miss
Austin Logan - DB - Logan played in 10 games as a true freshman in 2013, but has only played in three games since. The once promising safety had an interception against Wisconsin that year, but it appears he has been passed over by other players and incoming recruits before his senior year this year. Verdict: Miss
Antoine Miles - DE - Miles redshirted in 2013 and did not play in 2014, but was a decent starter last year and even amassed four sacks early in the season. Strangely Purdue went away from him as a pass rusher even though he had some early success. He played in all 12 games and could start entering his junior season this year, but Purdue has gone after JuCos to get a pass rush, so who knows? Verdict: Partial Hit
Dan Monteroso - WR - Monteroso allegedly was impressive in his first camp in 2013, so much so that he was not redshirted. He played in five games, but did not have a catch and has a single carry for a yard. In three years he has 3 receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown, which was a 51 yard Hail Mary before halftime against Indiana State last season. Verdict: Miss
Myles Norwood - WR - Norwood redshirted in 2013, played special teams in 2014, and switched to defensive back in 2015, where he is now in a mess of talented, but unproven players fighting for playing time. His only statistic is five special teams tackles in three years. Verdict: Miss
Evan Panfil - DE - Panfil split time last season with Miles at defensive end and had some success. He finished with 30 tackles and four sacks plus a forced fumble. He has developed decently after playing as a true freshman in 2013, but has not been spectacular. Still, he is a starter after being a 3-star recruit. Verdict: Hit
Dezwan Polk-Campbell - LB - Polk-Campbell redshirted in 2013, but has played sparingly as a reserve linebacker in nine games over the past two years amassing 7 tackles. He looks like a career reserve at this point, but he is at least playing some. Verdict: Partial Hit
Jake Replogle - DT - Replogle might be the best player from this class in terms of steady production. He began playing regularly as a true freshman midway through 2013 and has 113 tackles with five sacks and 25.5 for loss. He might be the only legitimate NFL prospect from this group. Verdict: Major Hit
John Strauser - DE - Strauser redshirted in 2013 and has been a regular on special teams each of the past two years, notching three tackles last season. He has yet to play a down to my knowledge on defense. Verdict: Miss
Johnny Thompson - LB - Thompson never played a down in two years and was expected to never play again after a head injury in 2014. He is no longer on the roster. Verdict: Miss
Jason Tretter - OT - Like Thompson, Tretter lasted two years without playing and a knee injury ended his career. He is no longer on the roster. Verdict: Miss
David Yancey - RB - Yancey redshirted in 2013 and has been a special teamer/reserve at running back for the last two years. He has two receptions for 11 yards and 5 carries for 13 yards in very limited action. Verdict: Miss
DeAngelo Yancey - WR - Whether you love or hate DeAngelo Yancey depends on what he has done lately. The good is that he has been Purdue's best receiver with 92 receptions for 1,393 yards and 10 TDs in 35 games after starting as a true freshman in 2013. The bad is that he was basically a ghost for the entire 2014 season and he has had a spate of drops and questionable effort on some throws, plus getting separation is difficult for him. After a 48-700-5 season in 2015 he is the closest thing to a regular, productive receiver Purdue has. Verdict: Hit
So here is your final count:
Never made it to Purdue: 1
Transferred out: 2
Never played and career over due to injury: 2
Has barely played if at all: 5
Reserve with limited action: 6
Part-time starter: 3
Regular starter: 3
Exceeded expectations: 1
Clearly, Hazell has not developed talent well at all. Two of his best players, Dawkins and Etling, have since transferred out of the program and are either starting or may start for better programs elsewhere. Even accounting for injuries a total of 16 out of the 23 will likely not be starting in 2016 in any capacity.
That leaves seven guys that I would call regular, reliable starters. In that group, Miles and Panfil have basically been co-starters, and Howard has been in the rotation with several at defensive tackle. Clark, DeAngelo Yancey, Replogle, and Ezechukwu are the only four that you can point two and say, "Yes, they are starting" in the fall, and of them only Replogle and maybe Yancey have truly exceeded expectations.
Four out of 23, and by the recruiting rankings it has been Hazell's best class.