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Purdue Football Recruiting: What’s Left (Update)

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With 2 Kentucky Prospects off the board, nothing has changed

NCAA Football: Purdue at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Wandale Robinson and J.J. Weaver are both off the board. If you’ve followed Purdue recruiting, you know those two have been trending the wrong way for a long time.

Purdue is fine at both DE and RB/WR in this class, and either would have been a luxury pick up for this class. It would have been nice to close on one, but with Kentucky having a good year, that became significantly more difficult.

Purdue’s recent additions of Jalen Graham and Kyle Jornigan are more important pick ups, in terms of need than either Robinson or Weaver.

This is an update from my last article. You’ll find the updates at the bottom of each player section.

Here’s what’s left on the board (right now) by position:

QB - Filled

RB - Filled

TE- Filled

WR

David Bell - 4* (94) - 6’2, 185 - Indianapolis, IN

Leader - Purdue

Top 5 - Indiana, Purdue, Iowa, Ohio State, Penn State

This is the one everyone is excited about, and for good reason. David Bell is an elite wide receiver and Purdue is a school that knows how to feature an elite wide receiver. The fact that Rondale Moore is having a historically good freshman year for Purdue has helped our chances with Bell. Brohm is more than willing to incorporate a freshman into the passing offense, and Bell has the talent to play right away. I wouldn’t get too cocky about Bell just yet though. He’ll take all 5 visits to his top schools and he was enthralled with Penn State early in the year, so much so, that several experts thought he was going to commit sooner rather than later. If Ohio State makes an all out push, that could also be troublesome, but I understand they’ve had a few issues with their WR coach / Recruiting coordinator recently. Got to think that moved the Buckeyes back a few notches.

Bell will announce on January 5th, so this is going to be a long wait.

Update: Steve Wilfong from 247 Sports put in a prediction for Purdue. He’s right on about 90% of his predictions overall, and is 100% on his Purdue predictions. I think that’s a pretty good omen for the Boilermakers.

Milton Wright - 4* (92) - 6’3, 200 - Louisville, Kentucky

Leader - Purdue

Top 5 - Purdue, Louisville, Kentucky, Ohio State, Alabama

Purdue benefits greatly from Louisville being garbage with Wright. A good Louisville team may have been difficult to beat, but Louisville is not good...at all. Kentucky can’t successfully throw the ball forward, which also helps Purdue. The Boilers are currently trending in the right direction for Wright, and he might commit to the Boilermakers sooner rather than later. The OSU and Bama may look worrying, but I’m not sure either are commitable. The OSU one might be, but I don’t think they view Wright as a priority. If he tried to commit to Bama today, I’m guessing he would be told to sit tight and wait a few months. Adding a player like Wright to this class would give Purdue one of the top WR classes in the nation. Adding Wright and Bell would most likely put Purdue at the very top, and that’s not a place I thought I would ever see the Boilermakers.

Update: Wilfong also has Wright to Purdue, another great sign for the Boilermakers, who are in a great position to add 2 4* wide receivers to an already great class.

OL

Kaleb Boateng - 3* (85) - OT - 6’4, 295 - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Leader - Pitt

Top 3 - Pitt, Maryland, Purdue

Boateng has been all over the board, but the experts believe he’s trending towards Pitt. Purdue, however, is in his top 3 and might be able to sway him with a solid close to the season. That said, he’s already visited Maryland and Pitt and has yet visit (or schedule a visit that I know of) to Purdue. It will be interesting to see how the coaching staff plays this.

Update: Boateng was trending towards Maryland, but as you may have noticed, things at Maryland aren’t great right now. I’m not sure Purdue is in this thing anymore.

Joacheim Price - 3* (85) - OT - 6’8 - 315 - Algonquin, IL

Leader - ?

Top 5 - Illinois, Iowa State, Minnesota, Purdue, West Virginia

Price is a mammoth tackle prospect that Purdue had on campus this summer. He doesn’t say much on social media and no one appears to have an idea about where he may end up. I certainly wouldn’t consider Purdue a favorite, but it appears the Boilermakers are still in the running. He’s an interesting prospect because he’s unlike anyone else on the roster in terms of size and seems to go against the current offensive line recruiting trend.

Update: Price is now a Western Michigan commit

Kyle Jornigan - 3* (86) - OG - 6’4 - 320 - Youngstown, OH

Leader - Kentucky

Top 3 - Kentucky, Purdue, Ohio

This is one where Kentucky being good at football for a change hurts our chances. It appears that most experts have Kentucky pegged as his destination. He was always considered a Kentucky lean, but the Wildcats current season, he appears to be a lock for UK.

This is where things start getting interesting, because Purdue has 3 O-Line recruits currently on board, and I’m guess the coaching staff would prefer 5. I’m just no sure how we get there with our current offers, so this part of the recruiting board is in the most flux. I wouldn’t be surprised if the staff is still doing late evaluations with even later offers to some under the radar prospects to follow.

Update: I’m glad I was wrong on this one, as Jornigan bucked the Crystal Ball predictions and committed to Purdue over Kentucky. Great pick up for Purdue who really needed at least one more OL commit in this class. 1 more OL commit would be ideal.

DE

JJ Weaver - 4* (89) - 6’6, 240 - Louisville, KY

Leader - Kentucky

Top 4 - Kentucky, Louisville, Miami, Purdue

This is another case of Kentucky hurting our chances. Originally, Weaver was thought to be a Louisville lean, but with the current state of the Cardinal program, it appears he is looking elsewhere. Kentucky, unfortunately, offers him a viable in state alternative. The experts have him breaking hard to UK with an October 20th visit to Lexington looming. Honestly, I don’t think Purdue is in this, but I hope I’m wrong. Either way, with Karlaftis and Hunter on board, this is still an amazing DE class for the Boilermakers.

Update: Purdue didn’t make Weaver’s top 3. No big surprise. He looks like a heavy Kentucky lean right now.

DT

Ben Smiley - 3*(88) - 6’4, 265 - Chesapeake, VA

Leader - Virginia Tech

Top 5 - Virginia Tech, Virginia, Purdue, Penn State, Tennessee

This is by far the most important defensive player left on the board in my opinion. Defensive tackle is one of the toughest positions to recruit for teams like Purdue, and if the Boilers can bring in two highly rated prospects in the same class, I’ll be impressed. Smiley fits perfectly as a disruptive 3-Tech in Holt’s scheme, which may be why the Boilermakers seem to be getting some traction. He has a visit scheduled to West Lafayette for November 17, which surprised some folks. More likely than not, he stays home at either Va Tech or UVA, but getting him on campus at least gives Purdue a punchers chance.

Update: Smiley committed to Virginia. He was a kid that looked like he was interested in staying in state, and Virginia having a nice season probably helped him with that choice. Purdue was always a long shot.

LB

Cameron Williams - 4*(89) - 6’3 205 - Merrillville, IN

Leader - Indiana (maybe)

Top 2 - Indiana, Purdue

Williams is another guy that’s playing it pretty close to the vest. It appears that IU may have a slight advantage over Purdue, but that’s just conjecture and reading tea leaves on my part. He has an official visit scheduled for Dec 7th at IU and, as of yet (and as far as I know), doesn’t have one scheduled to Purdue. That could mean something, but it could mean absolutely nothing. It’s not hard for him to get to either school. Adding an athletic linebacker like Williams would be great, but Purdue has a couple in the fold right now. I would consider Williams a luxury and not a make or break player for this class. That says, I really like what Williams can do and I hope we can get him on campus.

Update: Purdue made Williams’s top 5 along with I.U., Kentucky, Arizona, and Cincinnati

CB Filled

S

Jalen Graham - 3* (86) - 6’2, 207 - Detroit Michigan

Leader - Purdue

Top 3 - Iowa State, Minnesota, Purdue

Graham, like current Boiler commit Mershawn Rice, is listed as an “athlete” by the recruiting services but I’m fairly confident Purdue is recruiting him to play safety. Adding Graham with current Purdue commit Marvin Grant would put Purdue in a great position at safety for years to come. Having two athletic, play making safeties on the back end of the defense would allow Coach Holt to get a little more aggressive in the front 7. He has an official visit scheduled to Iowa State on Oct 27th, so Purdue still has plenty of work to do if they want to bring Graham into the fold, but he’s been considered a Purdue lean for a while. The fact that Grant is also from Detroit certainly helps Purdue’s chances.

Update: Graham committed to Purdue, solidifying the safety position in this class. Adding Graham fills a huge piece of the Purdue defensive recruiting puzzle.

P.S. - Hey Drew, you forgot Wandale! Na, I didn’t forget him, he’s just not coming to Purdue.

Update: I was right. Kentucky closed hard and pulled him out from under Nebraska. No surprise here.