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Purdue Football Recruiting - Denver Warren Profile

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Purdue hosted a big time DT recruit last weekend. Here is the low down on Denver Warren and Drew’s take on Purdue’s potential to land the stud DT from Illinois

Ohio State v Purdue Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Denver Warren, a 4* 6’2, 320 pound DT from Auroa, Illinois was in West Lafayette last weekend.

Note: Warren did not commit to Purdue. The wording of this tweet was a little confusing to some people.

This is huge for Purdue. Honestly, if I had to pick one 4* player in this class that Purdue has a legit chance to land, Warren might be at the top of my list because of his position and skill set.

Warren would play nose guard in the Purdue scheme, and that’s a premium position in the recruiting world. You just don’t find many guys with the size and ability to play that position, and Warren has both. Purdue is in desperate need of an interior lineman who can command double team blocks. Lorenzo Neal filled that role well this year, but as we saw in the bowl game, only having 1 functional nose guard is a recipe for disaster. Adding players like Warren will be the next step in Purdue’s evolution from plucky underdog to conference heavy weight.

Evaluation

Warren is a big strong dude who commands attention in the interior defensive line. His ability to command and fight off double teams alone would make him a valuable addition to any team, but his ability to move his feet and pursue the ball makes him a next level recruit.

What stood out the most in his film (other than his obvious physical gifts) was his pursuit when the ball went away from him. Some big guys play in a 4 foot box. They either move forward a few feet, sideways a few feet, or backwards (which isnt good) a few feet. Warren is able to work down the line and find running backs, and has the “want to” to turn and pursue a running back down the field. That’s a rare trait for a man his size.

Like most high school defensive tackles, he’ll need to work on staying low and driving out of his stance with violent hands. He pops up from his stance a little quickly for my liking, instead of pushing forward and driving with his legs. He can get away with that in high school, but will be moved out of the hole by equally strong offensive linemen if he gets too high in college. That’s something easily corrected, and sometimes gets self corrected in practice once he gets picked up and moved for the first time in his life. This is just a small critique, I’ll take him on my team every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Purdue’s Pitch

Purdue has some tangible things to sell Warren. The 2019 class was heavy on defensive linemen, but (as of now) is missing a true nose guard. The Purdue depth chart at nose should look enticing for a player looking to make and impact early. He would have a chance to play early on what should be a solid defensive line.

Location is also key for Purdue’s pitch. West Lafayette is a reasonable drive from Aurora, Illinois, giving Warren the opportunity to be away from home, but not so far that his folks and home town friends can’t make the trip on a regular basis. Close, but not that close, may be the best case situation in terms of geography.

Finally, Purdue can continue to sell tangible on field improvement. The 2019 season on the field will be a huge component of Purdue’s 2020 recruiting success. Purdue has the arrow pointing up, but it can’t stall out. A 7 win season would be nice, an 8 win season would put Purdue in an entirely different recruiting level.

Purdue’s Chances

Getting Warren on unofficially on campus, for what he described as an “amazing” visit is a win for the Boilermakers. Warren got to look around and pick up his inevitable offer, while at the same time, saving his official visit (he only gets 5) for later.

That said, don’t get too excited just yet. Warren’s recruiting has been all over the place so far. He committed to Michigan in July, only to back off of his verbal in November. Getting him on campus was big, but he won’t lack for options, and I can only assume his offer list will continue to grow as recruiting for the 2020 class moves along.

Right now, Warren holds offers from most of the Big10, with Michigan (obviously) and Michigan State considered early favorites. Illinois also can’t be discounted, because despite questionable on field performance, Lovie Smith and staff have proved to be solid recruiters.

If Warren is looking to get out of the midwest (and as I right this wrapped up in a blanket by the fire place, who could blame him at the moment) he has offers from teams like Syracuse, Duke and Boston College. I expect this to increase as teams continue to flesh out their recruiting boards and start looking nationally for recruits.