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Purdue Football Recruiting: It’s a Thing! Breaking Down the Offense

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Purdue got better today...probably...we’ll have to wait and see.

Indiana v Purdue Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

What does this all mean? Honestly, I have no idea, could be good, could be bad, but it will certainly be something.

This is a developmental class, with the exception of wide receiver. You’re going to need to store these guys away in the back of your brain for a little while, but that’s a good thing. Patience in building a team the way Purdue has to build it is a virtue.

You shouldn’t have to start freshman offensive linemen (unless they are 4*, top 100 type players, and even then, it’s hit and miss). You shouldn’t need a freshman quarterback to step in and play right away.

The one position on offense that can step in and play right away is wide receiver, because fast guys that can catch are fast guys that can catch. I’d prefer they have a little more time to adjust, and they’re going to make some mistakes along the way, but it’s all hands on deck on the outside.

Get back to me in about 3 years on how successful of a signing class this was, because it’s really going to hinge on the offensive linemen developing into a cohesive group. Purdue signed 4, for this class to be successful, at least 3, if not all 4 need to develop into reliable options on the line. I like the potential of the guys we signed, but it’s just that, potential.

Quarterback:

Jack Plummer - 6’5, 210 - 3* (.86) - Gilbert (Gilbert, AZ)

Coach Brohm has made a very nice living for himself on his ability to evaluate and coach quarterbacks. Purdue set their sights on Plummer early in the process as the top quarterback on the board and made their move.

Plummer is a pro style quarterback with a strong arm and decent mobility. He will almost certainly redshirt unless Purdue is hit with a few quarterback defections or position changes, because the Boilermakers have a full quarterback room at moment.

Plummer will be able to learn the offense, work on his mechanics and hit weight room for a year or two and will subsequently be prepared to compete for the starting job when the time comes.

This is what other programs call “quarterback continuity”. It’s when one quarterback graduates and another, fully prepared quarterback is available to step in and take over the team.

Since the Tiller era, Purdue has attempted the following QB strategies.

Danny Hope: Edit (Danny Hope was stupid and we all hate him).

Darrell Hazel: You’re our guy, we’re going with you all year. We need you to lead this...oh wait...who is that other guy...maybe he’s better...probably should check and see...no, wait, he’s not better...wait, what happened to the first guy...anybody seen the first guy?

Jeff Brohm: I’m giving Brohm a break because I think Blough better suited Purdue’s talent and Sindelar better suited Brohm’s system, so using them both made sense. In the future we will have a guy that fits the talent and the system and we will be cooking with hot grease.

Comparison: A more athletic Elijah Sindelar

Running Back:

Evan Anderson - 6’1, 195 - 3*(.81) - Collins Hill (Suwanee, GA)

Purdue went down to Georgia to pick up their only running back for this class. Anderson will give Purdue 3 running backs from the Atlanta suburbs (joining D.J. Knox and Tario Fuller).

Anderson is a tall, long striding running back with a fluid running style. He is quick enough to elude tacklers and once he gets into the open field, he’s tough to catch.

He is another guy I think will red shirt. Purdue has a log jam at running back already with Jones, Knox, Fuller, and Worship all returning, and that doesn’t even take into consideration Brian Lankford-Johnson and Jack Wegher, who as far as I know, will also be back. There simply isn’t enough carries available to justify playing Anderson next season.

Having the luxury of redshirting 3* players is a good thing.

Note: Purdue handled Markese Stepp situation perfectly. They brought him in, gauged interest and moved on to a running back they could actually sign. Stepp talked about how he needed time and that Purdue wasn’t going to give him any, and then committed to USC a few days later. Truth is, Stepp was never going to put a ring on it.

Comparison: Tario Fuller

Wide Receiver:

Amad Anderson - 5’11, 170 - 3* (.88) - Curtis (Staten Island, NY)

Purdue is in desperate need of speed. Anderson has great speed. Seems like a solid fit.

Evaluating Anderson is difficult. Consider him the Markell Jones of this recruiting class. Sure, he looks great on film, but he’s far and away the best athlete on the field in most games. He can basically do anything he wants, and there really aren’t many opposing players that can stop him. That will change at the next level, but what won’t change is his speed. Dude if fast regardless of competition.

Anderson is a guy that should make an impact right away. Purdue’s wide receiver depth chart is so thin it’s transparent and Anderson’s skill set should translate quickly as a slot receiver. He’s also Purdue’s highest rated recruit (at the moment) and if you’re going to need someone to come in and play right away, it’s always nice when that someone is your highest rated recruit.

Just a quick word of warning, he’s probably going to run around and take a few 10-15 yard losses before he figures out he can’t simply head the other direction when things don’t look promising in front of him and outrun everyone. I’m going to post the “oh no child what is you doing” gif when this happens.

On the positive side, he’s going to hurdle a tackler next season and it’s going to be awesome. I’m going to post that gif of Drake clapping and then standing up while clapping when this happens.

Note: I need to get the twitter password from Juan again.

Additional Note: When someone posts a lame joke on the twitter account, it’s not me...I don’t have the password.

Comparison: KeyRon Catlett

Kory Taylor - 6’5, 200 - 3* (.87) - Hilliard Bradley (Hilliard, OH)

Purdue headed back to Hilliard, Ohio (home of Markus Bailey) for another physically imposing player. Purdue only has 2 scholarship receivers over 6’0 tall returning next season (Burgess & Franklin) so signing a wide receiver that can play on the outside was vital in this class.

It’s always nice to have a guy on the outside you can just throw the ball up to and know the worst thing that’s going to happen is an incomplete pass. Taylor is that sort of receiver, he’s either going to go up and get it, draw an interference flag, or, at worst, keep the other team from catching it.

When my blood sacrifice in honor of Anthony Mahoungou’s hands finally paid off, and he started catching the ball consistently, Purdue’s offense looked much different.

Taylor should give Purdue that sort of outside threat from day 1. He has solid body control and high points the ball. He is deceptively fast (no, not because he’s a white guy, because he’s one of those long striding runners that look like they’re not moving very fast until they run by you) and eats up safeties.

Taylor should be able to play day 1, even if it just means he runs go routes and fades while he learns the offense. If nothing else, we can use him as an extremely large Frisbee catching dog.

Comparison: Shorter Kyle Ingraham - Taller Greg Orton. Making him....Kyle Orton...he needs to grow a neck beard ASAP

Jordan Bonner - 6’2, 185 - 3*(.85) - Carrollton (Carrollton, GA)

Georgia has been very good to Purdue recently, and it continues to provide, with this rangy receiver from West Georgia. Receiver was a key need for Purdue, and I think they got another good one in Bonner.

When looking at his film, I was really impressed with his ability to run several different routes...maybe not perfectly, but he was running them. His ability to use his body to screen off defenders while catching slants is also excellent.

Oh, yea, and he can run past defenders like they are tied to trees. Bonner can move for a guy with good size. He may not be the quickest, but give him a few steps to get going and it’s all over.

He reminds me a little of DeAngelo Yancey, in the incredible athlete with a big body from Georgia kind of way and not in the incredible athlete with a big body and maddeningly erratic hands from Georgia type of way.

He’s another guy that will almost certainly avoid the redshirt and probably won’t be able to avoid being called “Air” Jordan Bronner.

Comparison: DeAngelo Yancey but less likely to make me throw a drink at the television

Tight End:

Payne Durham - 6’5, 250 - 3* (.81) - Peachtree Ridge (Suwanne, GA)

What do you do if you coach in Indiana and need to go find some players? Head on down to Suwanne, Georgia, get yourself a meat and 3, a big glass of sweet tea bring a grown man sized tight end back with you to Indiana.

Purdue was looking for a physical tight end for this class, and Payne Durham, at 6’5, 250 pounds fits the bill. Plus, his actual name is Payne, which opens up a world of possible nicknames and catch phrases if his career at Purdue takes off.

The cool thing about Payne is that he is versatile enough to put a linebacker on his butt with a block on first down, and then split out wide and make that same linebacker look silly in coverage the next down.

It will be interesting to see if Durham escapes the redshirt with Purdue having 3 experienced tight ends returning next year, but he is definitely a guy that’s going to come in and compete physically from day 1.

My guess, he avoids the shirt, and brings the Payne to opponents next season (God, I’m so pumped about this name. Payne, if you’re reading this, I need you to score touchdowns so I can make terrible puns on twitter.)

Comparison: A bigger Brycen Hopkins

Offensive Tackle:

Jimmy McKenna - 6’5, 260 - 3*(.86) - Avon (Avon, OH)

McKenna is on of the Purdue recruits that got the most heat during the recruiting process. McKenna had offers from West Virginia, Michigan St, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, and Kentucky, but decided to throw his lot in early with the Boilermakers and Brohm, before the Brohm era even kicked off.

McKenna is a developmental left tackle prospect with good athleticism and a mean streak. He handles the speed rush well and is able to pull and do some other fun stuff in the running game that Purdue wants their tackles to be able to accomplish.

If McKenna were to step on the field today, he would be eaten alive by the bull rush, because he just doesn’t have the weight in his rear end to anchor and keep from being shoved back into the quarterbacks face. Luckily, adding weight to your rear end is much easier than making your feet move faster.

File McKenna away in the back of your mind for a little bit, because he’s got some eating and lifting to do, but don’t be surprised if you see him as Purdue’s starting left tackle a little further down the line.

Comparison: Mark Stickford

Will Bramel - 6’6, 270 - 3*(.85) - Boyle County (Danville, KY)

Purdue needed offensive lineman, like really, really, really needed guys that he could develop into a coherent offensive line in a few years. Will Bramel is just that sort of player. Brohm and company headed on down to his home state of Kentucky and brought a big ol’ boy that likes hitting people north with him.

It’s hard to look at film of offensive linemen (at least the limited film available) and say much, but dude can move his feet (he also plays basketball), plays to the echo of the whistle, and appears to enjoy putting defensive linemen on their backs. That’s a good starting point, and with his frame, I could see Bramel filling out enough to play either left or right tackle.

I’m going to guess he redshirts, but Purdue is in need of a right tackle next season, so I’m sure Bramel will get a long, hard look in camp.

Comparison: A significantly more athletic Eric Swingler

Eric Miller - 6’6, 260 - 3* (.84) - William Mason (Mason, OH)

Eric Miller is a 6’6 offensive tackle that also plays basketball...sound familiar?

Eric plays against some of the top competition in Ohio, and did well enough as a senior to move up over 20 spots in the 247 rankings, ending up ranked 51st in Ohio. Miller is similar to Bramel, in that he has good feet, likes to get physical, and probably needs to fill out a little more before he hits the field.

While Bramel could go either way (right or left) in terms of position, I see Miller as a left tackle all the way. He’s got great feet. Again, it’s super hard to do much evaluation on offensive linemen, because the next time you see Miller on the field he will probably be 290+, but he certainly has all the physical attributes you look for in a left tackle...other than size.

I am speaking from experience when I say that gaining weight is much more fun than trying to lose it.

Eat up big man, toss a little extra gravy on that turkey this Christmas and take down at least a quart of eggnog, it’s for the good of the cause.

Comparison: Mark Stickford

Offensive Guard / Center:

Charles Allen - 6’4, 300 - 3*(.84) - Doss Magnet Career Academy (Louisville, KY)

If Purdue absolutely had to play a freshman offensive lineman next year, Allen would be the guy. He played left tackle in high school, but the Purdue coaches want him to play inside, which makes sense, because none of the other 3 guys we signed are likely candidates for a move inside.

Allen has the best hair by far in this class, and that goes along way with me. I mean look at it, it flows out of his helmet like a lions mane. Personally, I think all the offensive line recruits should stop cutting their hair and shaving, and I’ve sent numerous emails to Jeff Brohm, asking that unshorn lineman be the standard at Purdue, but he’s yet to get back to me, I’m sure he’s just busy.

Anyway, back to the field where Allen looks like a dude that can maul in a zone blocking scheme, but still has the feet to pull out and lead a sweep. I really like Allen, but again, with offensive lineman, it’s hard to tell how good their going to be until they start hitting other massive humans and not just plowing over little dudes in high school.

I like Allen, but I hope we have the luxury of letting him sit a year, hit the weights, and maybe hit the field at a solid 310-315 in 2020.

Comparison: Jason King with better feet