Well, that was an exciting two weeks. I expect recruiting to slow down over the next month or two. Now is a good time to take stock on the players we’ve accumulated thus far, and look at who is left on the board at every position.
Quarterback: Takes - (1)
Paul Piferi - 3*- Overall rating (86) - 6’5, 210 - Villa Park (CA)
Purdue will take one quarterback every class unless there is a transfer, in which case, they may take two. Brohm went out to California to pull in strong armed Paul Piferi, and the Boilermakers are done with quarterbacks in the 19’ class.
Running Back: (2-3)
Demetrius Mauney - 3* (85) - 6’0, 190 - Forrest City (NC)
Da’Joun Hewitt - 3* (84) - 5’11, 190 - Nashville (TN)
Remaining on the board:
Wandale Robinson - 3* (89) - 5’10, 180 - Frankfort (KY)
Zonovan Knight - 3* (88) - 6’0, 185 - Bailey (NC)
At a minimum, Purdue is going to take two backs in this class to replace graduating seniors DJ Knox and Markell Jones. Mauney and Hewitt provide Purdue with two solid backs with home run potential. Numbers in this class might get a little tight, but that doesn’t mean Purdue won’t sign a third back if one of there higher priority guys decide to sign up.
Wandale Robinson would be an immediate take, but his recruiting has blown up and I’m assuming it’s going to be a long process before the speedy back from Kentucky decides on a school. Purdue will stay in the race unless Wandale eliminates them from contention. Purdue received one of Robinson’s 5 official visits, so there is obviously some interest on his part.
Zonovan Knight is another guy Purdue has managed to get on campus. He’s similar in style to Mauney and Hewitt, but might have a little more top end speed. Knight is an immediate take, but he’s another guy that doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to commit.
There are several other backs that Purdue showed interest in or that showed interest in Purdue early, and they could certainly pop up later in the recruiting process, but right now, I think Purdue is going to be selective with their third running back spot, and may not fill it unless the right player comes along.
Wide Receiver (2-3) :
Mershawn Rice - 3* (88) - 6’2, 200 - Reynoldsburg (OH)
Remaining on the board:
David Bell - 4* (95) - 6’2, 185 - Indianapolis (IN)
TJ Sheffield - 4* (91) - 5’10, 170 - Thompson’s Station (TN)
Milton Wright - 4* (94) - 6’3, 200 - Louisville (KY)
Purdue has built up a bit of a glut at wide receiver. Purdue will be selective in filling their two available spots, and it wouldn’t shock me if this is a one receiver class. That being said, there are some big fish currently on the line, and either or both would be an automatic take for Purdue.
Mershawn Rice is already on board, and he’s an explosive athlete with great size for the position. I think he may end up being a consensus 4* prospect when all is said and done and has the potential to be “the guy” in the Purdue offense down the line.
David Bell is the obvious headliner in this class. Purdue has worked extremely hard in building a relationship with Bell, and he seems to be receptive to the message. That being said, Ohio State is always in play, and even though Urban has a terrible history of putting WR’s in the NFL (considering talent), OSU is hard to beat when they decide they want a player, and they want David Bell. This thing will go down to the end, and Purdue needs to put together another solid season. If Bell was sold on OSU, he would have already committed to OSU, because recruiting spots are OSU aren’t guaranteed. This one could get interesting.
TJ Sheffield is another automatic take for Purdue and profiles as a slot receiver in college. Brohm loves having explosive options in the slot, and Sheffield would give him yet another arrow in his offensive quiver. His recruiting has picked up recently, with Arkansas and Louisville both offering. He already holds offers from Notre Dame and Ohio State. I expect this to stretch on for a while as well with so many new teams offering.
Milton Wright is a big, physical wide receiver out of Louisville that likes the Purdue coaching staff. Louisville has been a key part of Brohm’s recruiting strategy (for obvious reasons) and adding a top talent like Wright would only further solidify Purdue’s grip on the most talent rich city in Kentucky. Wright is another take, regardless of numbers.
I think Purdue will wait out Bell, Sheffield Wright and hope that they land at least one. As I mentioned above, however, WR isn’t an area of need, so if the Boilermakers go big game fishing and come up empty, it won’t be the end of the world.
Tight End: (2)
Kyle Bilodeau - 3* (85) - 6’6, 240 - Woodberry Forrest (VA)
Garrett Miller - 3* (85) - 6’5, 225 - Round Rock (TX)
Purdue was going to take 2 tight ends in this class, and landed two they like early in the process. Brohm likes big tight ends that can work the middle of the field and provide solid inline blocking.
Kyle Bilodeau was an absolute steal out of Virginia. He’s one of my favorite players in this class and has the potential to be Purdue’s next great tight end. He’s got the size to step onto the field and make an impact early.
I hope the Purdue coaches wore a ski mask when they went to visit Miller in Texas because this was a smash and grab job in Big12 territory. Much like Bilodeau, Miller has the size to compete for early playing time, and may be more adept at stretching the field than Bilodeau.
Offensive Line: (4-5)
Cam Craig - 3* (83) - 6’5, 285 - Dublin (OH)
Dave Monnot III - 3* (83) - 6’6, 255 - Joilet (IL)
Spencer Holstege - 3* (81) - 6’5, 275 - Grand Rapids, (MI)
Remaining on the board:
Kaleb Boateng - 3* (86) - 6’4, 295 - Fort Lauderdale (FL)
Joacheim Price - 3* (85) - 6’8, 315 - Algonquin (IL)
Purdue is happy to recruit guys they think can contribute after 2 or 3 years in the program. Offensive line is one of the hardest positions to evaluate and recruit and the “can’t miss prospects” are still outside of Purdue’s reach. That being said, Coach Williams is an expert at getting guys in that fit the profile and turning them into great linemen.
Cam Craig, Dave Monnot, and Spencer Holstege all fit into the “let’s see what they look like as redshirt sophomores” mold. They are all technically offensive tackle prospects, but the Purdue coaches don’t really care about that. Some guys stay tackles, some guys grow into interior linemen.
Purdue is really hard to pin down in terms of offensive line recruiting because they are willing to go after guys that may not look like college offensive lineman as 17-18 year olds. They’ve had Kaleb Boateng on campus, and he would be a big pull out of Florida, but there is plenty of competition for Boateng, and that competition should only increase as other offensive line pieces fall into place and more teams start poking around a talented player Boateng.
Price doesn’t quite fit the normal Purdue mold, because at 6’8, 315, he’s already massive. He would most likely profile as a right tackle or interior lineman in Purdue’s system. Purdue offered Price in May and need to get him on campus ASAP if they want to stay in it with him. Price has spent a good bit of time on campus at Illinois, and I see them as the favorite right now.
Again, it’s hard to predict Purdue O-line recruiting, because they project recruits 2 or 3 years into the future. I think Purdue need to take 5 in this class because they’ve lost a lineman out of the last 2 classes. Plus, when you project so far into the future, you’re bound to have a few busts along the way. The offensive line is a position group where numbers are crucial.