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88 days to Purdue Football: Cole Herdman

The junior tight end is the top returning receiver for Purdue in 2017.

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

Today we continue the parade of promising tight ends on our player countdown. This player and yesterday’s Brycen Hopkins represent a true bright spot on the revamped Purdue offense.

Cole Herdman – Jr.

Leesburg, VA (Flint Hill HS)

6’4”, 245 pounds

Tight End

2017 Projection: Starter at tight end

This is the year for Cole Herdman to shine. Two seasons ago he was behind several more experienced TEs. Last season he became an integral part of the offense by averaging almost three receptions per game. Now he enters as the most experienced receiver and a junior who could be one of the better TEs in the conference.

As a redshirt freshman in 2015 Herdman caught only five passes for 78 yards. Last season he upped that to 35 receptions for 344 yards and three touchdowns. His best game came against Iowa, where he caught 7 passes for 104 yards and a score. He also caught TD passes at Maryland and Minnesota. He tied his single game personal receptions mark with seven catches for 33 yards against Penn State.

In high school Virginia Tech was the only other FBS program interested in Herdman. Here is what his local paper had to say about him:

In Herdman, the Boilermakers grab a versatile and athletic tight end whose blocking ability may even exceed his receiving capabilities — which is saying something considering he caught 24 passes for 334 yards and 10 touchdowns over the past two seasons. Flint Hill Coach Tom Verbanic said Herdman “never came off the field,” as he starred at linebacker too: he made 80 tackles, recovered three fumbles, made three interceptions and had two sacks this season. He also punted for the MAC Champion Huskies, averaging 38 yards per kick.

With two years left and the Brohmfense getting ready to explode Herdman is in a great position. He was the No. 4 receiver for Purdue last season in terms of receptions and yardage, So matching those numbers should not be difficult.