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Purdue Football Recruiting: How Do They Fit?

Purdue has been racking up recruits like Drew Brees racks up passing yards. Now, how do they fit into the program?

NCAA Basketball: Cleveland State at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

First off, I’m not going to be predicting who else is going to commit to Purdue in this post, so if that’s what you’re looking for, thanks for the click, but you can stop reading now.

For everyone who is left, this post is going to take a look at who Purdue currently has committed, what that commit says about the type of player Coach Brohm is looking to add to his system.

I’ve provided you with the247 composite rating (the combination of all recruiting sites rankings) and the 247 site ranking. In addition, I have provided the star rating and numerical rating for each recruit. As you will see, on occasion, these vary greatly. I personally feel like 247 does the best job in the recruiting industry, especially when it comes to 2* and 3* players. Finally, you have the composite state ranking and the 247 state ranking of each commit.

Jaylan Alexander - 6’1’’, 235 - Hoffman Estates (River Grove, Illinois)

Position: Inside Linebacker

Comp: 3* - 82

247: 3* - 87

State Comp: 39

247 State: 9

Jaylan Alexander started Purdue’s run of commitments, and Alexander appears to be the prototype player for the 2018 class. Alexander is not only a hard hitting linebacker, but he is also one of the more talented wide receivers in the state of Illinois. Needless to say, that isn’t a combination you see very often. Coach Brohm and his staff are looking for athletes, above and beyond anything else, and Alexander certainly fits into that category. This staff has supreme confidence in their ability to mold a player into their system, and are, in a sense, looking for the best clay. Alexander is the perfect example of a player that has yet to truly specialize, but has the potential to take off once he settles into a position and receives position specific training. Alexander is an example of, “you can teach skills but you can’t teach talent.” In addition, Purdue is pulling one of the top talents out the Chicago area. Purdue has ignored Chicago for too long, and it appears Coach Brohm and company are ready to get back into the talent rich areas of Illinois.

Jack Plummer - 6’5, 215 - Gilbert (Gilbert, AZ)

Position: Quarterback

Comp: 3* - 85

247: 3* - 87

State Comp: 9

247 State: 6

Coach Brohm said that he would recruit the quarterback position on a national scale, and was good on his word, pulling Plummer out of Arizona. Plummer is also a good indication of the type of quarterback Brohm would eventually like to have on the field. He is a physically imposing presence at 6’5 and runs a 1 back, shotgun based, spread offense in high school. While mobile enough to get outside of the pocket, it appears that he looks to throw and not run the ball when he gets to the edge. Coach Brohm is known for quarterbacks, and it is no surprise that he was able to go on the road and pull in a good player from outside of Purdue’s normal recruiting footprint. This is how I expect Coach Brohm to recruit quarterbacks , and this is the type of quarterback I believe he will target in the future.

Kadin Smith - 6’2, 190 - Spencer County (Taylorsville, KY)

Position: Safety

Comp: 2* - 79

247: 3* - 85

State Comp: 15

247 State: 6

Recruiting evaluations on Smith are all over the board. Rivals has him ranked as a 2* athlete (this is the ranking that skews him to a 2* in the comp) and 247 has him ranked as a 3*(85) safety. In this case, I’m going to go with 247, as they evaluated him at the position he will be playing for Purdue. Smith continues the trend of multi-positional players in this class, as he plays both running back and strong safety for his high school team. Smith is also a 3 time state champion and All-American in track. Purdue will use Smith at the safety position, and he fits the mold of almost every other defensive back offered by Purdue; he is tall and has great speed. Purdue, first and foremost, is looking for tall, rangy players to play in Coach Holts secondary. I’ve yet to see a legitimate offer to a player under 6’0 tall in the 2018 class. Tall defensive backs will be the recruiting standard at Purdue under Brohm and Holt.

Elijah Ball - 6’1, 190 - Ben Davis (Indianapolis, IN)

Position: Cornerback

Comp: 2* - 79

247: 3* - 81

State Comp: 27

247 State: 21

Ball fits neatly into the same physical mold as Kadin Smith. He is a tall cornerback with has good speed. There is some question as to wether Ball will move from corner to safety, but I expect him to stick, at least initially, at corner. Coach Holt is know for playing an aggressive front 7, often sending blitzes from the second level to shorten the time defensive backs have to cover. Consequently, expect a secondary similar in size to the vaunted “Legion of Boom” secondary from the Seattle Seahawks glory days. Holt wants big, strong corners that win at the line of scrimmage in press, and get the wide receiver quickly to the ground in zone. Ball is a competent tackler as a corner back position, and has long arms to disrupt receivers in press coverage. As an added bonus, Ball committing to Purdue is a sign the Coach Brohm is serious about getting Purdue into Indianapolis, and specifically, getting Purdue into the premier football program in Indianapolis, Ben Davis.

Jack Cravaack - 6’5, 225 - Madeira (Cincinnati, OH)

Position: Defensive End / Tight End

Comp: 3* - 82

247: 2* - 78

State Comp: 59

247 State: 60

Cravaack will come to Purdue as a true jumbo athlete, and according to Jack, he’s not sure where he will end up playing. The more I look at positions of needs, and the more I consider his size, I think Cravaack will end up playing defensive end at Purdue. It’s not that Jack isn’t a solid tight end, it’s just that he fits the exact mold of what Coach Holt is looking for in a defensive end. Coach Holt prioritizes height and athleticism at his end positions because he likes to clog up the quick passing lanes with long arms. Cravaack has the height and athleticism (he’s also an excellent basketball player) to come off the edge and cause problems. In this case, I think his ranking is skewed because most services evaluated Jack as a tight end. At tight end, he appears to lack some top end speed, and looks mainly like a solid possession receiver and red zone threat. At defensive end, his top end speed doesn’t matter, and he can still use his size to his advantage. I think you’ll see Purdue emphasize height and length off the edges with Coach Holt in charge of the defense.

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

Position: Offensive Guard

Comp: 3* - 83

247: 3* - 83

State Comp: 9

247 State: 8

Charles Allen is a perfect example of what Coach Brohm is looking for in an interior lineman. First and foremost, Allen is a giant man with long arms. Second, and possibly more important, Allen is a giant man that can move his feet. Coach Brohm and Coach Williams prioritizes athletic linemen. In fact, Allen is so athletic, I think he will at least get a look at one of the tackle spots, but Brohm tends to look for even taller players at those positions. The offensive line in general is a position Brohm is attempting to rebuild from the ground up. He took a JuCo and 2 grad transfers in order to help shore up the position this year, and will look to build his offensive line in the subsequent recruiting classes. I think Allen is pretty much the standard in terms of size and athleticism you will be seeing in a Brohm offensive line recruit, especially in the interior. Also, just to continue the theme of multi-positional players, Allen also plays defensive tackle on this high school team.

If Purdue continues their recruiting momentum, and I fully expect that they will, I’ll be back next week with a look at newest verbal commitments in the 2018 class.