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12 Days to Purdue Football: Jared Sparks

The quarterback-turned-receiver is in line for a big season.

NCAA Football: Purdue at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

I am really excited to see what can become of this player. He is one of Darrell Hazell’s rare finds that is going to pay large dividends going forward. He reminds me a bit of former receiver Keith Smith, who was an all-Big Ten caliber player.

Jared Sparks - So.

Geismar, LA (Dutchtown HS)

6’1”, 210 pounds

Wide Receiver

2018 Projection: Starter at Wide Receiver

By all accounts Sparks is having a great fall camp. he is catching everything in sight and looks to be locking down a role as a starting outside receiver. That is fantastic for a player that was a quarterback two seasons ago.

When Sparks got to West Lafayette in 2016 he was a dual-threat QB that offered a different look from every other QB on the roster. He spent the year redshirting, then emerged last season as a slash player. He played in all 13 games, starting five at receiver. He took some snaps at quarterback, but did not throw a pass. He still caught 19 passes for 222 yards and rushed 23 times for 123 yards. His best game was at Northwestern, where he had 11 catches for 130 yards.

This year he is a full-time receiver, but we know Jeff Brohm is a trickster. I would bet a large amount of money there is at least one play in the playbook where Sparks has at least the option to throw. he is only a sophomore too, so he is going to be a reliable option at receiver for years to come.