Next to lineman, this may be the most important position to be recruited for 2019.
After this season, we graduate both DJ Knox and Markell Jones. The following year, we graduate Richie Worship and Tario Fuller. This past class we only brought in one running back, that was under the radar, Evan Anderson.
Here is a quick look at the 2018 Depth Chart:
1A. Markell Jones
1B. DJ Knox
1C. Tario Fuller
1D. Richie Worship
2. Alex Horvath
3. Evan Anderson
I do believe we need two or three backs in this class to help with the depth we will be losing after the 2020 season.
Now, we have about 25 offers out to running backs, so I am not going to break them all down. I will break down the ones I think we have a great chance at.
First, lets start with the commit we just got the other day.
Da’Joun Hewitt - Davidson Academy (Nashville, Tennessee), 3*, 5’11”, 190
Da’Joun is legit. His junior year in Nashville, he averaged over 11 yards per carry. He had over 2,500 yards rushing. He already has over 4,000 for his career. He is explosive as any back in the country. His skill set reminds me a lot of Tario Fuller if we are going to compare him to someone on the team.
He can catch the ball out of the back field as well, run between the tackles and get outside. I got the chance to listen to Coach Barclay at a coach’s clinic this off-season. He stated many times that he doesn’t want one trick ponies. He wants a back that can catch, run between the tackles, get wide and catch. Hewitt fits that mold.
Jirehl Brock - Quincy High School (Quincy, Illinois), 4*, 6’, 200 Pounds
Brock may be the most skilled running back that we have recruited out of high school since Markell Jones. He does a little bit of everything, but is really good between the tackles for a high school running back in my opinion.
Brock is being recruited nationwide and for good reason. As I mentioned early, he does everything that Coach Barclay looks for in a running back. If Brock were to come to Purdue I could see him getting involved early on. We will have to fight off all of the B1G schools to earn his commitment.
Lew Nichols III - Cass Tech High SChool (Detroit, Michigan), 3*, 5’11”, 200 Pounds
Nichols reminds me a lot of current running back D.J. Knox. He is low to the ground, powerful and fast. Nichols recruitment is starting to pick up steam. Purdue was one of the first schools that began to recruit them.
The three star doesn’t play the best competition, but he dominates and shows his explosiveness on every single play. Power 5 schools are in on him now, supposedly West Virginia is the ones we have to beat out here.
Aidan Robbins - Dupont Manual High School (Louisville, Kentucky), 3*, 6’3”, 225 Pounds
Robbins is a bruiser, but he also has wheels. He reportedly ran a 11.3 100 yard dash last night in his track meet. At 6’3”, 225 Pounds, he is a power back, but he has plenty of speed to go with that power.
Robbins is out of Kentucky, a state where he have done well in since Brohm has arrived. I think Louisville will be a tough out here since he is from the city. He would be a great replacement for Richie Worship.
Tony Mathis - Cedartown High School (Cedartown, Georgia), 3*, 5’11”, 195 Pounds
Purdue has been recruiting Mathis hard as of late. Coach Barclay was just down in Georgia looking for more backs, they have continued to recruit Mathis. Again, he reminds me of Knox. He runs low to the ground and does a great job of keeping his shoulders square and taking on defenders.
Mathis would be a great addition to replace Knox. I would love to start making Georgia a pipeline state for Purdue Football. They have athletes all over the state.
This is a big class for the running back position. Purdue will need two or three. The first commit with Hewitt is a big one, now, two of the four above would make it perfect.
Hopefully we will here good news in the coming weeks.