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2018 Early Signing Day: Where Does Purdue Stand?

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We have a little wiggle room left before signing day.

NCAA Football: Boston College at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

We’re on the cusp of signing the best recruiting class in at least 15 years for Purdue Football. It is a critical class because not only does it provide a significant talent boost, it provides depth. For example: the recent departure of Tobias Larry from the program leaves us with only five scholarship linebackers for the bowl game. The injury to Lorenzo Neal leaves us perilously thin on the defensive line, which happens to be adding a wealth of talent in the 2019 class. We have just one more game to play before the 2019 class arrives with high expectations.

So where does the class stand? And how many guys exactly can we sign? Let’s begin by looking at the recruiting rules. The limit for the number of players you can sign in a recruiting class is 25. As it stands right now, Purdue is at 24 players. That does not count David Bell, who will announce his decision in January and will sign with someone during the regular signing period in February.

Here is your look at the current scholarship grid, which will help explain the next point:

Purdue Football Scholarship Grid

Player Position ('21-'22) ('22-'23) ('23-'24) ('24-'25) ('25-'26)
Player Position ('21-'22) ('22-'23) ('23-'24) ('24-'25) ('25-'26)
Tyler Coyle S FREE YEAR
Greg Long OL FREE YEAR
J.D. Dellinger K FREE YEAR
Anthony Watts DT FREE YEAR
Simeon Smiley CB FREE YEAR
Semisi Fakasiieiki DE FREE YEAR
Jackson Anthrop WR FREE YEAR
Brennan Thieneman S FREE YEAR
Tyler Witt OL Grad Transfer Grad Transfer
Alexander Horvath RB Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Robert McWilliams LB/DE Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Dedrick Mackey DB Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Mark Stickford OL Junior (RS) Senior (5)
DJ Washington OL Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Aidan O'Connell QB Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Austin Burton QB Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Jaylan Alexander LB Junior Senior
DaMarcus Mitchell LB Junior Senior
Jeff Marks DT Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Jack Plummer QB Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Elijah Ball DB Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Kadin Smith DB Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Jack Cravaack DE Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Eric Miller OT Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Lawrence Johnson DT Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Will Bramel OL Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Jimmy McKenna OL Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
K.J. Stokes DE Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Branson Deen DE Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Jack Sullivan DE Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Cory Trice DB Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Kory Taylor WR Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Payne Durham TE Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
DJ Johnson CB Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
George Karlaftis DE Sophomore Junior Senior
Brooks Cormier P Sophomore Junior Senior
Cam Allen CB Sophomore Junior Senior
King Doerue RB Sophomore Junior Senior
Milton Wright WR Sophomore Junior Senior
Jalen Graham DB Sophomore Junior Senior
David Bell WR Sophomore Junior Senior
TJ Sheffield WR Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Marvin Grant DB Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Da'Joun Hewitt RB Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Mershawn Rice ATH Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Cam Craig OL Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Paul Piferi QB Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Kyle Bilodeau TE Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Dave Monnot III OL Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Spencer Holstege OL Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Dontay Hunter DE Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Nyles Beverly CB Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Khali Saunders LB Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Garrett Miller TE Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Sulaiman Kpaka DL Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Steven Faucheux DT Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Kyle Jornigan OL Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Jacob Wahlberg LB Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Chase Triplett LB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Gus Hartwig OL Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Jared Bycznski OL Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Ben Kreul LB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Michael Alaimo QB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Tirek Murphy RB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Josh Kaltenberger OL Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Collin Sullivan WR Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Antonio Stevens DB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Kydran Jenkins LB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Sanoussi Kane DB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Clyde Washington LB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Greg Hudgins DE Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Marcellus Moore WR Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Nalin Fox OL Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Maliq Carr WR Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Bryce Austin DT Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen WR Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Anthony Romphf DB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Ryan Brandt LB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Jaelin Alstott-VanDeVanter OL Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Preston Terrell WR Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Tristan Cox LB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Rickey Smith ATH Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Brandon Calloway DB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Zach Richards OL Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Khordae Sydnor DE Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Deion Burks WR Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Mahamane Moussa OL Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Ja'Quez Cross ATH Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Drew Biber TE Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Jah'Von Grigsby DB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Yanni Karlaftis LB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Marcus Mbow OL Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Brady Allen QB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Dominack Moon LB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Yearly Limit Used (25 Max)
Total Scholarships Left 1 -1 9 32 83
Total Scholarships Used 84 86 76 53 2

As you can see, we’re currently 2 spots under the limit with Tobias Larry and Jess Trussell leaving the program. That gives us a little bit of play, and we might even be able to Cameron Williams, the 4-star linebacker out of Andrean. That is where the shuffle of scholarships comes into play. The recruiting website 247 explains it best:

Every year around National Signing Day, the question arises. How do programs sign more than 25 players when that is the limit put in place for each school?

The answer is simple: up to five early enrollees are allowed to count toward the previous class.

Each college program has a compliance department that keeps track of these numbers, as does the NCAA to make sure each school is following the rule. It can get murky, but let’s say you only signed 22 players in the previous recruiting class. That means you have three extra spots to sign this year, assuming you have the early enrollees to count back.

Last year’s class was 24 players, but a few like Jack Plummer enrolled early. That gives us room in the shuffle to move this year’s early enrollees like George Karlaftis back. Karlaftis is one of a handful of guys that will graduate and enroll starting in January, opening up more room for someone like a Williams. With Karlaftis enrolling in January he counts toward the 2018 class, not the 2019 class, under this method.

There is always the grad transfer market, too. Jeff Brohm has hit that market hard in the past. Dennis Edwards, Josh Okonye, Spencer Evans, Shane Evans, and T.J. McCollum have all been major contributors as grad transfers. McCollum and Edwards were both former players under Brohm at Western Kentucky.

One guy to look for here as a possibility is Western Kentucky linebacker Ben Holt. Holt just finished is redshirt junior season at Western Kentucky and led them in tackles with 116. He has a year of eligibility left and just happens to be defensive coordinator Nick Holt’s son. Kyle mentioned him this morning in his post as a possibility, but that is mere speculation. I don’t even know if he is on track to graduate and he is a team captain for the Hilltoppers. The fact he is coach Holt’s son does make it an intriguing possibility though. I am not sure how he would factor in scholarship-wise, either, as being the son of a staff member might afford him free tuition anyway. It would be a similar situation to what we had with Garrett Hudson when his dad was DC.

The point is that we do have some room here. On Wednesday we should sign 24 and in February we might be able to add 2-3 more guys.