I’ve been a little quiet regarding Purdue recruiting recently, sure I tweet pertinent information (follow me at DrewH&R@LegendofSM) but it’s hard to make heads or tails of anything at the moment. Purdue’s staff is on the road and are handing out scholarships to just about everyone. California, Missouri, and Texas were hit up last week and I’m sure there will be more offers to follow. According to 247 sports, Purdue has offered 178 scholarships, which is certainly a departure from the Hazell method of going hard after certain players only to lose them as the season spirals down the college football toilet. While Purdue has a multitude of offers floating around, they have yet to receive a verbal commitment for the 2018 class. This is becoming troubling to some people, as the rest of the Big10 has been racking up verbals, while Purdue’s commitment list is as fresh and unsullied as the new fallen snow. While there may come a time to panic in the future, now is not that time. As Juan Crespo’s idol and golf enthusiast Aaron Rodgers (I almost ran into him at the Masters, like physically) says R-E-L-A-X.
(The following information is bases solely on my opinion. I’ve got about as much insider access as anyone else on this site (probably less than some) but I do follow Purdue recruiting, putting my currently in the top 5 most qualified people to comment, because I’m pretty sure there are only about 5 people competing for the top 5. I’m making my best guess as to what is going on, and if you have a different guess, well, you’re probably wrong, but that’s O.K.)
Let’s take a look at the rest of the Big10 and their current commit numbers:
Penn State: 12
Ohio State: 9
Michigan St: 5
This looks, uhm, not good, but don’t freak yet, because I think Purdue is intentionally stuck at 0 right now for the following reasons.
Purdue isn’t interested in playing defense this early:
I think Purdue could probably get a couple guys to pull the trigger right now if they put on the full court press, but Brohm doesn’t see the need to accumulate a bunch of on paper commits he has to chase around only to lose as soon as a better offer comes around. Purdue wants guys that are actually going to commit and stay committed and not require constant babysitting. At this point, if you’re not 100% committed to joining the program, Brohm wants you to wait. He wants to build recruiting momentum throughout the year and close strong, and nothing kills momentum like decommitments. They tend to be contagious.
Purdue is attempting to move up in the recruiting rankings:
Purdue is going after high 3* / 4* players, and they’re not going to get those guys this early. In order to Purdue to exit the basement, or at least get out of the pit dug in the basement covered by the trap door and into the basement, it’s going to need talent. I’m all for diamonds in the rough, but the more you rely on those players, the thinner your roster becomes. If you can hit on 1⁄2 of your low 3 * / 2* guys you’re a great talent evaluator, and I’m not very good at math, but not hitting on 1⁄2 your roster seems like a bad thing. Purdue is selling “wait and see” and “opportunity” right now. Brohm wants to show recruits what his offense and Holt’s defense looks like, and how they can fit in and improve it immediately. At this point, just keeping priority recruits from committing to other schools is a win. Purdue needs them to wait, because a good bit of what Brohm is selling needs to be seen on the field.
Brohm knows he can close:
Purdue seemingly put together the 2017 recruiting class over a long weekend. Brohm has good JuCo connections and feels like he can close low 3* / 2* players late if he needs to fill out the class. As mentioned above, Purdue needs a giant talent infusion, and Brohm is going to play out every high level prospect he can before closing late in order to fill the rest of the class with prospects. It’s a gamble, but honestly, gambling is probably Purdue’s only hope at this point until the on-the-field product improves.
Expect a few commits this summer:
Summer camps are a great time to get kids on campus and push for early verbals. I expect a few key verbal commits this summer. It’s crucial Purdue lands at least a few good players before the start of the season, so they can help Purdue recruit other players. A blue chip quarterback would be the ideal situation, and Purdue has a couple good ones at least picking up the phone and listening right now. If Purdue doesn’t land any recruits this summer, I would be concerned...not in a full panic, but at least beard stroking level of concern.