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Purdue Football: Tight End Breakdown

A position that figures to be used quite a bit more this season.

NCAA Football: Purdue at Iowa Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Once Coach Brohm got on campus he had to realize that we are pretty thin at the wide receiver position. But, we actually have a couple of tight ends that look like NFL tight ends.

It wasn’t too far into their time as our new coaches that Brian Brohm came out and said, “We will use a lot of two tight end sets”.

Well, okay, we do have two guys in Cole Herdman and Brycen Hopkins that are grown men. But, who else? Do we have the depth to use two tight end sets? I say yes, so lets take a look at what we have at the position.


Cole Herdman - 6’4”, 251 Pounds, Junior

Herdman is a grown man. He is big, strong, fast. He is a pretty well rounded tight end. Last year, he had 35 catches for 344 yards and three touchdowns. Not only that, he is a really good blocker. He helped seal the edge many times last season for some big runs from Markell Jones or Brian Lankford-Johnson. I am looking forward to seeing his role expand.

Brycen Hopkins - 6’5”, 245 Pounds, Sophomore

Hopkins played a little but last year, but was effective when he was in. He had 10 catches for 183 years and four touchdowns. He is also a grown man, he isn’t as strong as Herdman and appears much thinner, but he is just as talented as wide receiver. He will get plenty of playing time this season in our two tight end sets.


Jess Trussell - 6’6”, 242 Pounds, Sophomore

Jess played quite a bit in the spring game. He doesn’t move quite as well as the two above him, but he is a big guy with a huge frame. He is pretty lean, but will continue to get stronger, he is only a sophomore, he might be our number 1 backup this season or push Hopkins for the #2 spot.

Brandon Prince - 6’6”, 255 Pounds, Senior RS

Prince has an interesting story. He just joined the tam in the spring semester. A graduate student from UAB. He started at Austin-Peay University, then when his dad had a stroke he transferred to UAB, being from Birmingham, to help take care of his father. Then the program was shut down a few months after, I tried to do some digging, but I am unsure where he has been playing. But, he is with us now and at 6’6”, 255 pounds, I figure he will be able to help with some blocking at least.

Wade Buckman - 6’6”, 235 Pounds, Freshman RS (Walk on)

Incoming Freshman?:

Darius Pittman - 6’3”, 230 Pounds, 3*

I am unsure if he will play wide receiver or tight end. Rivals has him listed at wide receiver. But you would think with that size, he could easily transition into a receiving tight end type player. At either position, he is an interesting prospect with his size and speed.

We should all be looking forward to this position. They are going to produce with catching the ball, but their biggest impact might be their run blocking ability. Our offensive line may struggle, but the tight ends might be able to anchor the edges and help produce some big time runs by sealing the edge. I think our first four guys at this spot can play anytime of the game and not hurt us.