clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Redshirt Watch: Tracking Purdue’s Freshmen

New, 48 comments

Just how many freshmen are not redshirting so far?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 14 TCU at Purdue Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We all know Purdue is young. In addition to injuries to its few seniors, it is playing a lot of freshmen across the board. That is to be expected with the best recruiting class, top to bottom, in over 15 years arriving this fall. While Purdue might take its lumps this season it can pay off later. Inexperienced freshmen playing this year becomes experienced depth next year. Since we’re already a quarter of the way through the season we have an idea of how many freshmen will avoid the redshirt this year. First is our grid:

Purdue Football Scholarship Grid

Player Position ('21-'22) ('22-'23) ('23-'24) ('24-'25) ('25-'26)
Player Position ('21-'22) ('22-'23) ('23-'24) ('24-'25) ('25-'26)
Tyler Coyle S FREE YEAR
Greg Long OL FREE YEAR
J.D. Dellinger K FREE YEAR
Anthony Watts DT FREE YEAR
Simeon Smiley CB FREE YEAR
Semisi Fakasiieiki DE FREE YEAR
Jackson Anthrop WR FREE YEAR
Brennan Thieneman S FREE YEAR
Tyler Witt OL Grad Transfer Grad Transfer
Alexander Horvath RB Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Robert McWilliams LB/DE Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Dedrick Mackey DB Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Mark Stickford OL Junior (RS) Senior (5)
DJ Washington OL Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Aidan O'Connell QB Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Austin Burton QB Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Jaylan Alexander LB Junior Senior
DaMarcus Mitchell LB Junior Senior
Jeff Marks DT Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Jack Plummer QB Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Elijah Ball DB Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Kadin Smith DB Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Jack Cravaack DE Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Eric Miller OT Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Lawrence Johnson DT Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Will Bramel OL Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Jimmy McKenna OL Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
K.J. Stokes DE Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Branson Deen DE Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Jack Sullivan DE Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Cory Trice DB Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Kory Taylor WR Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Payne Durham TE Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
DJ Johnson CB Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
George Karlaftis DE Sophomore Junior Senior
Brooks Cormier P Sophomore Junior Senior
Cam Allen CB Sophomore Junior Senior
King Doerue RB Sophomore Junior Senior
Milton Wright WR Sophomore Junior Senior
Jalen Graham DB Sophomore Junior Senior
David Bell WR Sophomore Junior Senior
TJ Sheffield WR Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Marvin Grant DB Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Da'Joun Hewitt RB Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Mershawn Rice ATH Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Cam Craig OL Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Paul Piferi QB Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Kyle Bilodeau TE Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Dave Monnot III OL Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Spencer Holstege OL Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Dontay Hunter DE Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Nyles Beverly CB Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Khali Saunders LB Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Garrett Miller TE Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Sulaiman Kpaka DL Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Steven Faucheux DT Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Kyle Jornigan OL Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Jacob Wahlberg LB Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5)
Chase Triplett LB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Gus Hartwig OL Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Jared Bycznski OL Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Ben Kreul LB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Michael Alaimo QB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Tirek Murphy RB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Josh Kaltenberger OL Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Collin Sullivan WR Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Antonio Stevens DB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Kydran Jenkins LB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Sanoussi Kane DB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Clyde Washington LB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Greg Hudgins DE Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Marcellus Moore WR Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Nalin Fox OL Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Maliq Carr WR Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Bryce Austin DT Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen WR Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Anthony Romphf DB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Ryan Brandt LB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Jaelin Alstott-VanDeVanter OL Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Preston Terrell WR Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Tristan Cox LB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Rickey Smith ATH Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Brandon Calloway DB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Zach Richards OL Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Khordae Sydnor DE Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Deion Burks WR Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Mahamane Moussa OL Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Ja'Quez Cross ATH Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Drew Biber TE Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Jah'Von Grigsby DB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Yanni Karlaftis LB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Marcus Mbow OL Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Brady Allen QB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Dominack Moon LB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Yearly Limit Used (25 Max)
Total Scholarships Left 1 -1 9 32 83
Total Scholarships Used 84 86 76 53 2

The numbers are interesting. Already eight true freshmen (George Karlaftis, Marvin Grant, Brooks Cormier, Cam Allen, King Doerue, Milton Wright, Jalen Graham, and David Bell) have played extensively and will very likely avoid being redshirted. In looking at the participation list from the TCU game (a blowout where any likely playing freshmen would have played late) I don’t see any others that have played. The same is true for Vanderbilt. T.J. Sheffield played briefly against Nevada only, but will still likely redshirt.

Based on previous classes, that is a lot. Last season only three true freshmen avoided a redshirt: Rondale Moore, Jeff Marks, and Jaylan Alexander. The year before that only Cornel Jones and Derrick Barnes did not redshirt. That means Brohm has already played more true freshmen this year than he has in his first two years combined.

There are also a number of redshirt freshmen that have played quite a bit in the first three games. Jack Plummer, Elijah Ball, Will Bramel, Jimmy McKenna, Branson Deen, Jack Sullivan, Amad Anderson, Payne Durham, and Willie Lane have played a lot. Eric Miller, Cory Trice, Lawrence Johnson, and Kadin Smith have also played at least some in the past two games. That’s another 13 freshmen seeing action for a total of 21. Of that 21 only one (Plummer) won’t see a lot of time if Elijah Sindelar returns. That’s 21 freshmen playing when we only have 20 scholarship juniors and seniors available period.

Of course, those upperclassmen are riddled with injury. Of the 20 juniors and seniors we were missing Markus Bailey, Tario Fuller, Matt McCann, Richie Worship, Elijah Sindelar, and Lorenzo Neal on Saturday as seniors and Jared Sparks a junior. That’s 35% of our scholarship upperclassmen that are even on the roster out for a game. Of those seven, we know Bailey is done for the year, Fuller, Worship, and Neal are out indefinitely, and McCann and Sparks are questionable.

There is also the potential more freshmen, true or otherwise, will play. Kyle Bilodeau and Garrett Miller are strong possibilities to play at some point. Steven Faucheux, TJ Sheffield, Mershawn Rice, and Da’Joun Hewitt are all possibilities.

The biggest development that we need going forward is the offensive line. There are four true freshmen sitting in redshirt on the offensive line that need to be getting better every day. Bramel and McKenna are the only redshirt freshmen linemen and both are playing a lot. Mark Stickford and De’Shon Washington are the redshirt sophomore linemen that also need to play. Once again, we can look at those 20 upperclassmen scholarship players and only three are offensive linemen (Criddle, McCann, and Hermanns).

So yes the youth movement will continue, especially up front and at running back where we have no choice. TCU taught Purdue’s young team some hard lessons on Saturday night and they are lessons that will be taught again in the next nine games. The sooner they are learned, the better, and that means 2020 and 2021 could be pretty good.

UPDATE: It occured to me tonight that I should mention something about walk-ons. While walk-ons are great, they are not the first option for many teams because of the investment in scholarship players. It is great when they contribute, but more often than not if you are playing a lot of them it is because some scholarship guys are not coming through. Right now Purdue has a few walk-ons playing regularly, most notably Brennan Thieneman at safety. Danny Carollo has done well as a pooch punter and holder on placements, while Zac Collins made a surprise appearance to punt in place of Cormier on Saturday. Nick Zecchino (long snapper), Marc Roland (offensive line), Sam Garvin (offensive line), Kieren Douglas (linebacker), Alfred Armour (fullback), and Malcolm Dotson (special teams) have seen action as walk-ons. This also does not include Zander Horvath, who is a former walk-on now on scholarship.