Darrell Hazell talks Purdue for the first time since he was fired…cle_238231e8-675c-56d1-8a6b-0cd60b72093c.html

Vikings wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell spent 3 1/2 seasons as the coach at Purdue, who the Gophers visit on Saturday.

While Hazell’s teams struggled, going 9-33 before he was fired a year ago, he believes that the young players he and his coaching staff recruited to the Boilermakers are turning the program around this season.

"Our staff did a good job of recruiting for those guys," Hazell said. "I think there’s a wealth of talent there."

The Gophers have had good recent success against Purdue, winning the past four meetings, including 41-13 in West Lafayette in 2015, Jerry Kill’s final victory with the Gophers. Last year, Tracy Claeys’ team beat Purdue 44-31 at home. Before that run, Purdue had won 11 of the previous 14 matchups.

When asked to scout the Gophers opponent, Hazell said the Boilermakers have a number of talented offensive weapons.

"They have very good backs," he said. "I don’t know if they’re hurt or not but some very good backs. Obviously the quarterback [David Blough] has been there and played a lot of football for them. He has played three years and is very good for them."

Now coached by former Western Kentucky coach and NFL quarterback Jeff Brohm, the Boilermakers are 2-2 this season, with the losses competitive ones to top-25 opponents Louisville and Michigan. Hazell said this is the kind of team his staff envisioned when he was at Purdue.

"We played a lot of those young guys the first two years, and we thought they were going to be really good players their third and fourth year," he said. "And that’s where they are right now in the program."

I understand and why he thinks the team is talented, he recruited these guys. But his assessment of the teams talent is almost delusional.

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