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Looking Back: Revisiting the 2015 Purdue Recruiting Class

The 2015 class was a big class for Purdue, but with mixed results.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 24 Purdue at Indiana Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

About a year ago I took a look back at what some of Purdue’s past recruiting classes had done. With the Boilers struggling it was a good way to see how things had gotten so bad. Danny Hope and Darrell Hazell both had some pretty major recruiting misses, but as we have a smaller senior class in each of the next two seasons we can also take a look and see how the transition from Hazell to Brohm is doing.

The 2019 season is the first one in which the majority of the roster will be made up of Brohm recruits. In theory, that should mean a step forward in overall record because Brohm has recruited circles around Hazell while still having success with his classes. There are still a pair of classes left of guys that went through the transition, so let’s first take a look at the 2015 class.

This class was Hazell’s largest class with 26 total commitments. There are still a handful of guys left, as they are the currently fifth year seniors on the roster.

Rivals ranking: 68

247 ranking: 67

Andy Chelf – DB – Chelf came in as a promising safety but never made it to the field, unfortunately. Just as he was looking to make an impact he was shot the evening after the 2017 spring game in an off campus incident. He recovered and transferred to Texas A&M-Commerce, where he is not playing. Transfer

Anthony Mahoungou – WR – Mahoungou was the rare JuCo with three years of eligibility. The Frenchman only had 21 receptions in this first two seasons, but under Jeff Brohm he exploded for a 40-688-8 line in his final season. That led to a brief stint with the Eagles in training camp. Starter, used all eligbility

Ben Makowski – LS – Makowski was the best receiving longsnapper in Purdue history. He played in and started all 50 games of his career and to my knowledge never had a bad snap. He graduated last season and must be replaced this year. Starter, used all eligbility

Brycen Hopkins – TE – Hopkins enters this season, his final one, as one of the best TEs in the conference and with a real chance of getting drafted. He has 69 receptions for 1,115 yards and 9 touchdowns in his career and will be a key player for this year. Starter, Potential draftee

Chazmyn Turner – DE – Turner had a rough tenure at Purdue. In the fall of his true freshman season he was arrested on alcohol and weed charges. Before the 2017 season he injured his knee and missed that year. He did graduate, however, and transferred to Southern where he has two seasons of eligibility, but he never played a down at Purdue. Transfer

David Rose – DB – Rose played in five games as a true freshman reserve in 2015, but was also involved in an arrest for stealing bikes. He has since disappeared from the roster. Left Program

Domonique Young – WR – Domo was brought in as a 2-year JuCo receiver to bolster the receiving corps and played well. He had 50 receptions for 614 yards and 2 TDs (plus a rushing TD) before suffering a horrific knee injury at Illinois in 2016 that ended his Purdue career. I did find that he has surfaced in the Arena League with the Baltimore Brigade. Starter, used all eligbility

Eddy Wilson – DT – Wilson had the talent to be in the NFL right now. He played in nine games as a true freshman and started for most of the 2016 season as a sophomore. In 2017 he started every game and had 27 tackles, but was briefly off the team after a weed arrest before returning. He was then academically ineligible and missed the Foster Farms Bowl before declaring for the NFL. He went undrafted, bounced around a few camps, and is now in the CFL with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Starter, left one year early.

Elijah Sindelar – QB – Sindelar’s story is still being written, as he is going to be the starter on day 1 for the third straight season. He missed most of last year with injury and has battled knee issues, but with two years left because of said injuries he has a great chance to make an impact. Starter

Evyn Cooper – ATH – Cooper played in one game at Purdue, appearing as a true freshman in the 2015 season opener at Marshall. He was later arrested in the same incident with David Rose and eventually transferred to Coffeyville Community College. Transfer

Fred Brown – DT – Brown never saw the field and has since transferred to SE Louisiana after two seasons. He has been a regular starter for them and has done relatively well entering his final year down there. Transfer

Jess Trussell – TE – Trussell was a blocking TE on special teams in 2016 and 2017, but never caught a pass. Last season he played in 12 games and even had a tackle on special teams, but entered the transfer portal. Transfer

Joe Schopper – P – Joe “The Show” Schopper was a great punter with a talent for fakes. He had over 10,000 yards punting as a four year starter and even completed two passes for 44 yards in his career. He also rushed for first downs twice on fakes, most notably on the fake field goal vs. Ohio State last season. Starter, used all eligbility

Larry Wells – OL – Wells failed to qualify academicallyand never even made it to Purdue. Academic Casualty

Markell Jones – RB – Jones graduated this past season to become a commercial pilot, but leaves Purdue in the top 10 historically in many rushing categories. He finished with 2,594 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns along with 627 receiving yards and two more TDs. He was especially great in the last two games against Indiana, rushing for over 300 yards in the last two games against the Hoosiers. Starter, used all eligbility

Markus Bailey – LB – Bailey has been excellent for Purdue and enters this season as one of the best linebackers in the Big Ten. Starter

Michael Little – DB –Little is currently in the transfer portal after playing mostly on special teams the last two years. His most memorable play was catching a 22-yard pass from Schopper on a fake punt in the 2017 Bucket game. Transfer

Michael Mendez – OL – Mendez, in my opinion, is one of the bigger losses this past offseason. He announced after the bowl game he would leave the program for his final year of eligibilityin 2019 after he started three games in 2016 and played in 11 games as a key reserve up front in 2017. There was a very good chance he was going to start at guard this coming season had he stayed. Left Program

Peyton Truitt – OL – Truitt was a local from West Lafayette HS and appeared as a reserve in nine games in 2017 on the offensive line, but left the program before last season. Left Program

Richie Worship – RB – A pair of knee surgeries cost Worship all of last season, but he has a respectable 390 yards and 5 TDs on the ground with 122 yards and 2 TDs receiving. If he is fully healthy he will be a key contributor this season, and could potentially get a sixth year in 2020 like Sindelar. Contributor

Sawyer Dawson – LB – After redshirting in 2015 he played in four games as a reserve in 2016, getting one tackle. He then left the program after the 2017 season. Left Program

Shayne Henley – DE – Henley was brought in to be an immediate JuCo solution at defensive end and did okay in his two years. He started a handful of games and finished with 10 tackles and a sack.

Tario Fuller – RB –Fuller has been behind Jones and DJ Knox most of his career, but grabbed the starting job to being 2017 and played extremely well against Ohio and Missouri. He has also battled injury. Limiting his playing time since the game at Missouri in 2017. He has 325 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns to go with 133 yards receiving. Like Worship, he can be a major contributor in 2019 if healthy. Starter

Tim Faison – DE – Faison redshirted in 2015 before playing as a reserve in five games in 2016. He then spent a year at a junior college before ending up at North Texas, where he had two tackles in 10 games last year. Transfer

Wyatt Cook – LB – Cook was arrested in the same incident mentioned above for Chazmyn Turner. He never saw the field at Purdue, but he will make a return to Ross-Ade Stadium this fall because he is on the roster for Maryland.

This was a very hit or miss class. There clearly was some talent in it with the likes of Jones, Wilson, Sindelar, and Bailey. There are a few players left over that will impact this season to be a sure, but most have had their best development under Brohm. A prime example is Mahoungou. He barely played in two years under Hazell, then exploded in the second half of 2017 under Brohm.

Probably the best prospects are in a position to succeed this year with Bailey, Hopkins, and Sindelar. This class has not officially produced a draft pick yet, but Bailey and Hopkins are prime targets. Mahoungou and Wilson at least got NFL looks, too. The general trend does appear to be that if a guy didn’t make an impact in the first year or two under Brohm he left. That is a large reason Purdue enters 2019 nine scholarships under the 85 limit on the current chart.

A couple of the biggest early losses were Truitt and Mendez. With gigantic question marks at offensive guard we could have really used those two this year as solid starters there. Wilson’s early departure was felt last year, while Schopper, Makowski, and Jones will be missed this year.