Since I regularly cover Zionsville football and basketball I got to see plenty of Isaiah Thompson over the last few years, but their membership in the Hoosier Crossroads Conference means I get to see quite a few other football and basketball prospects. Tonight was more of that as The Eagles went to Brownsburg for a week 7 football game, and that meant a pair of Purdue football recruits were on the field. Zionsville features 2020 offensive lineman Gus Hartwig, who usually plays center along the offensive line for them. Brownsburg features wide receiver Preston Terrell, the first commit in Jeff Brohm’s 2021 class. Here is how each looked tonight.
Hartwig is listed at 6’4”, 290 pounds and has done a pretty good job all season long. He was recently selected for the Army All-American game and is a three-star commitment by most services. He has played tackle as well as center, but tonight he was in the middle of the defense. He has often served as the lead blocker for Colin Price, a 5’11” 175 pound running back who is in the class of 2022. Price usually carries the ball 25-30 times per game and entered tonight with 1,105 yards rushing and 9 TDs in 6 games. Zionsville had just a 3-3 record, and they Hoosier Crossroads Conference has done them no favors with #1 Avon, #5 Brownsburg, #11 Fishers, and #12 Hamilton Southeastern on the schedule.
They still have a versatile offense, however. They mix up the run and the pass out of the spread and Price often runs flanked with his quarterback. Hartwig’s versatility will help him at Purdue as he can both run block and pass block. He needs more helpa round him as a lot of times the interior of the line has been overwhelmed. He has good size to come in and evolve into a quality lineman, which is exactly what we need. Like most linemen, don’t expect him to play as a true freshman, but he can make his debut in 2021 or 2022.
Terrell is listed as 6’3” and 190 pounds as a lanky outside receiver. Brownsburg plays a nice hurry up offense directed by Kansas commit Ben Easters. They also have Donovan Marcus in the backfield, a 3-star commitment to Ball State. They run a hurry up offense and liked to send Terrell downfield.
In the first half tonight Terrell blew up. He had six receptions for 81 yards and 3 touchdowns. Twice he was sent up the seam and Easters hit him in stride for scores of 38 and 30 yards. His third score as a 3 yard route where he slanted in, then cut back to the sideline for separation and an easy score. He entered the night with 25 catches for 390 yards and 5 TDs.
Terrell was also used on punt returns and kickoff returns, but there was not a lot of opportunity for those. Here is his MaxPreps profile. He had pretty good speed, as he left his defender in the dust on both seam routes. In the third quater on a third down play he caught a go route down the right sideline for a 38 yard gain to the one, but was shaken up on the play. He left the game, finishing with 8 receptions for 123 yards and 3 touchdowns, coming up one yard short of a Bundy. He later came back briefly, so the injury was not serious.
As for how early he contributes, it really depends on how the current freshman receiving group does. They will be juniors by the time he is a freshman, plus next year’s highly touted receivers will have been on campus a year too. He may redshirt simply because there are so many good players in front of him.
As for the game itself, Brownsburg was in firm control throughout. They led 20-0 on the three early TDs from Terrell before Zionsville got on the board with a 30 yard TD run from Price. Two early second half TDs, one set up by Terrell’s final catch, made it 33-7 by the late third quarter. Donovan Marcus went for 242 yards and two touchdowns, including a 79 yard TD run in the third quarter. Easters was an impressive 14 of 17 for 182 yards and 3 TDs through the air, plus a rushing TD. At one point Zionsville cut it to 33-14, but the defense totally broke down after that. Brownsburg went on to win 54-14.