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Purdue Football: What Are The New Guys Up To?

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How are the new guys on offense doing?

NCAA Football: Purdue at Missouri
Terry Wright has played a major role in the Boilermaker offense.
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

As we close in on the mid point of the season, it’s interesting to look at the 2017 recurring class and the large number of graduate transfers Purdue brought in during the offseason to see who is contributing.

I’ll take a look at the offense today, and the defense next week.

Freshmen:

KeyRon Catlett: WR/KR - 5’10, 180 - 3* (81) - Hopkinsville, KY

Catlett came to Purdue with the reputation as an explosive athlete, and has received plenty of opportunities as a kick returner for the Boilermakers. Catlett leads the team in number of kick return attempts (5).

Catlett has yet to break a big return for the Boilermakers, averaging 12.4 yards an attempt, with a long of 21.

Darius Pittman - TE - 6’2,230 3* (82) - St Stanislaus (Bay Saint Louis) MS

I’m a little surprised Purdue burned Pittman’s redshirt, because the Boilermakers are set at T.E. with Herdman and Hopkins, but Purdue also likes to run a 2 TE set, and an injury to either would leave them short handed. Pittman has played sparingly, and mostly in garbage time.

Pittman doesn’t have any stats.

JuCo

Terry Wright: WR - 5’11, 180 - 3* (80) - Coffeyville C.C. (JuCo Jr)

Terry Wright has been a pleasant surprise for the Boilermakers, stepping in from day one and providing Purdue with an explosive presence at the wide receiver position. Wright has a slight build, and has struggled with some injury problems early, but when healthy, has been a thorn in the side of opposing defenses, with Brohm getting him the ball through the passing game and on jet sweeps.

Wright has appeared in 5 games, starting 2, has 12 catches for 130 yards (10.8 Avg) and also has 3 carries for 31 yards (10.3 Avg)

Isaac Zico: WR - 6’1, 190 3* (84) - Georgia Military College (JuCo Jr)

Zico is another speedy JuCo Wr Purdue brought in to add some explosive plays to the offense. Zico has been somewhat held in check this year, and the emergence of Terry Wright as the speed option in the offense has limit some of Zico’s touches. Again, sometimes it just takes JuCo guys a little while to acclimate to Big10 football. Zico has all the tools, and I think he will become more involved as the season wears on.

Zico has appeared in 5 games, starting 2, and has 3 catches for 18 yards.

Ethan Smart: OT - 6’6, 310 3* (81) - Northeast Mississippi C.C. (JuCo Jr)

I expected Smart to play more this year, but the addition of some late graduate transferred moved him down the depth chart. Smart is currently listed as the backup right tackle, and is receiving solid experience that should prepare him to step in and compete for the starting job next year.

Transfer Class:

Shane Evans: LG - 6’4, 310 - Northern Illinois (Jr)

Evans was an incredible gift for the Boilermaker coaching staff. It’s rare that you pick up an instant starter, and the fact that Evans is only a junior makes him an amazing value for the coaching staff. Brohm and company bought two years of development for another player by bringing in Evans, while at the same time, solidifying the offensive line.

David Steinmetz: RT - 6’8, 310 - Rhode Island (SR)

I must admit, I wasn’t sold on Steinmetz coming in and starting. He played for a bad D2 (or whatever its called these days) team, and I didn’t see that translating to immediately starting in the Big10....my bad Dave. Steinmetz has held up about as well as you could hope, and allowed Purdue to slide Matt McCann inside, filling the hole at right guard. Purdue’s patchwork line, while not perfect by any means, is certainly functional, and Steinmetz has played a huge role in making Purdue’s offensive line not terrible.

Corey Holmes: WR - 6’1, 190 - Notre Dame (Jr)

I’m disappointed in Holmes’ production so far, but he started the season injured, and has plenty of time to turn things around. Holmes has all the physical attributes you need in a big time receiver, but his ability to catch the ball has always been questioned, and he hasn’t done much yet to dispel that notion. Holmes is another guy Purdue picked up for two years, so he has time to develop in the system, and if Holmes’ hands ever catch up to the rest of his body, Purdue will have a potential game breaking receiver.

Holmes has played in 4 games and has 1 catch for 7 yards.