We have three known commitments for the 2017 class. None being at the running back position yet. Running back, is probably the position where Purdue has the most talent at going into the 2016 season.
We return our starter, Markell Jones who is arguably the best player on the entire team. The Sophomore shredded teams last year as a Freshman and I think we can expect a lot of the same this season with him. He needs probably 20-25 touches a game for us to at least have some offensive success.
Of course, behind him is a mystery for now. D.J. Knox went down in the spring game with an ACL and is out for the season, but there is plenty of talent still in the stable. My personal favorite as a backup is Tario Fuller, he came in to the store I work at the other day and he has put on some serious muscle, but he seems to genuinely be a good guy and worked hard during his redshirt year.
We also have the redshirt freshman big back, Richie Worship, hopefully we see the staff use him in some short yardage, but I wouldn't be surprised if he was more of a fullback in our offense this year, with Malone at OC, we can expect to see some pro-style formations.
The two redshirt freshmen are still wild cards, but so are the two other upper class backs we have. David Yancey and Keyante Green. Green, got plenty of playing time his freshman year, but seemed to get on Coach Hazell's naughty list last season, maybe the light bulb will turn on for him. Yancey, has seen little playing time but injuries have plagued him. Then of course we have incoming freshman Brian Lankford-Johnson, who is probably headed to a redshirt season.
With all of that being said, according to 247sports, Purdue has 20 offers out to backs right now. Many have verbals to other schools already, but we have none, so lets take a look at who Purdue has offered and where we stand with these guys.
|Player||School||Ranking (247 Sports)||Top Offers||Chance (0-10)||Comments|
|Otis Anderson||University Christian, Florida||3*||UCF (Verbal), Illinois, Northwestern, Oregon State||4||He have his verbal to UCF back in March. He has a handful of offers from schools that are similar to Purdue the has a plethora of offers from D-I FCS schools. I am not going to rule us out here as it is just a verbal and he could potentially change his mind and want to play in the B1G.|
|Drake Beasley||Loyola High School, California||3*||Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State, California||2||247 sports states that he is "warm" to Colorado. But he has many offers from the west coast and I full expect him to stay out there. Arizona State or Purdue? A warm weather California kid, I am guessing he will stay where he doesn't have to walk in snow.|
|Chase Hayden||St. George Independent School, Tennessee||3*||Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee
||0||247 states he is "warm" with all 4 of those schools. I don't think we have a chance with this one, solid school from the SEC or us. I am betting he stays home In Tennessee.|
|Bentavious Thompson||Miami Southridge High School, Florida||3*||The U (Verbal), Florida, LSU, Louisville||0||I believe that he will stay home with The U, but if someone were to get him out of Miami, it would be LSU or Florida. Not Purdue|
|Dominic Williams||Independence High School, Texas||3*||Kansas (Verbal), Arizona State, Colorado State, Illinois||5||Standing only 5'8, Dominic has some speed. I think we could still be in play with him because, well he is committed to Kansas, who might be the only school in the nation that is in a worse state than we are.|
|Bryant Koback||Springfield High School, Ohio||3*||Kentucky (Verbal), IU, Northwestern, Syracuse||5||I like us to stay in play here too. The four offers I listed are his only bigger schools, then he has a MAC offer from Toledo. You would think that Hazell could snag an Ohio kid with his roots being there.|
|Deon Jackson||Pace Academy, Georgia||3*||Duke, Louisville, Missouri, Maryland||4||247 says that he is 100% to Duke, but he has not yet gave his verbal yet. ill give us a 4 here in hope that we can get him.|
|Tayon Fleet-Davis||Potomac High School, Maryland||3*||Maryland, Syracuse, Iowa, N.C. State||3||I wouldn't mind snagging Tayon. A 6' 210 pound back is always great. We just have to pull him away from his home land of Maryland and the thought of Iowa who seems to run the ball 95% of the time.|
|Weston Bridges||Copley High School, Ohio||3*||Michigan State (Verbal), IU, Missouri, Syracuse||0||This is one of the classic cases for Sparty. Snagging a kid from the stat of Ohio who was over looked by O$U. He will probably end up being decent with the chip on his shoulder. Alabama showed interest as well, but never offered. Look for him to stay with Michigan State.|
|Jalen Holston||Stockbridge High School, Georgia||3*||VA Tech, Duke, South Carolina, Vanderbilt||2||It says that Va Tech is his "favorite". Close behind is South Carolina and Duke. He is a player probably just out of reach for Hazell and Co.|
|Marcus McEllroy||Mullen High School, Colorado||3*||Air Force, Colorado State, Colorado, Kansas State||6||I actually like our chances here quite a bit. at 5'11" 200 he is a nice sized back and doesn't have offers that will pull him away from us. We should stay in play for Marcus and hope he has a solid senior year.|
|Antwuan Branch||Kenwood High School, Tennessee||3*||Yale, Vanderbilt, Navy, Army||7||I REALLY like the chance to get Branch here. I am sure he will hold off hoping for a great senior season to get larger offers, but generally your best offers come going into your senior year. It might be a battle of black and gold for Branch against Vandy.
|Alex Fontenot||George Ranch High School, Texas||3*||Colorado (Verbal), Colorado State, Oklahoma State, New Mexico||3||I will give a slight chance here, but I don't expect him to leave Colorado. If he does, he could bolt to Oklahoma State|
|Malik Williams||Jesuit High School||3*||Arkansas (Verbal), Arizona, IU, BC||0||6'1 220 pounds, he fits what Arkansas does. I don't see him taking back that verbal. He could be a bruiser for them for a few years.|
|Erick Stokes||East Side High School, Georgia||3*||LSU, Missouri, Ole Miss, West Virginia||2||I don't like our chances too much here. With offers from LSU and Ole Miss I am sure he will stay south. Unless he wants to come be an engineer.|
|Daequantae Showers||Fleming Island High School, Florida||3*||Colorado, Colorado State, FAU, FIU||6||If we stay on this kid we could get a verbal I think. We seem to be running into Colorado and Colorado State with a lot of our recruits. His offer list isn't great, but his name is.|
|Rondel Jamison||Carmel Catholic High School, Illinois||3*||Purdue||8||We are his only D-1 offer as of now. Commit to us Rondel, commit now or forever regret it.|
|Jaxton Carson||Central High School, Arizona||2*||Cincinnati, North Carolina, Southern Miss, Western Kentucky||6||We love our 2 star players, expect the staff to put a full court press on him to get him to commit. All joking aside, if Cincinnati and UNC like him we should too. I won't mind it, 5'9 205. Nice frame for a back.|
|Alex Thomason||Sylacauga High School, Alabama||2*||Illinois, Umass, Troy, Purdue||6||We will stay in the mix. Some SEC schools have showed interest but no offers yet. Like I previously said, we love our 2 star guys and here could be another one to target.
|Ben Miles||Catholic High School, Louisiana||3*||Boston College, Nebraska, LSU, Purdue||4||He is a fulback. But, I will include him here. 247 says he is "warm" on BC and Nebraska, very doubtful he commits to us with Richie Worship still a freshman too.|