As always, we like to give the walk-ons some love here on the countdown. Last year we had several that had earned a scholarship or were still walk-ons and played extensively. Antonio Blackmon, Jacob Theineman, Brennan Thieneman, Eric Swingler, Malcolm Dotson, Jarrett Burgess, and Garrett Hudson were all in this category.
Ryan James - Fr. (RS)
Chicago, IL (De La Salle HS)
6’3”, 200 pounds
2018 Projection: Deep reserve at Wide Receiver
I will let the Chicago Tribune talk about James:
James said academics played a big part in selecting the Boilermakers over Illinois and Indiana State, along with the hiring of head coach Jeff Brohm.
”What really attracted me to Purdue was academics because football doesn’t last forever,” James said. “Purdue is an amazing school, and has an amazing engineering school and communications program. I hope one day to become a journalist or writer. Athletically, to be able to play on the Big Ten level is such a prestigious honor and I hope to make the most of it. Coach Brohm is an outstanding offensive coach.”
James, a transfer from Hales, felt a connection with Brohm and cited the close drive from the South Side to West Lafayette, Ind., as other factors in his decision. The Boilermakers are thin at wide receiver following the departure of their top four players.
We even have some video:
MaxPreps lists him as having 14 receptions in 10 games for 133 yards as a senior and 12 receptions in 6 games for 188 yards as a junior. That probably means he comes from a team with a strong running game.