We thought we had a position of need fixed for 2020, then T.J. Storment decided to flip to TCU on his drive to West Lafayette.
It is okay, counting Purdue, that is 5 commitments in 4 years. Old Dominion, Fullerton CC, Iowa State, Purdue and now TCU. Hell, he may flip again.
But, that is neither here or there. Coach Brohm will continue to move forward and try to find another replacement. But with classes starting this week, it will probably have to be this summer when they enroll.
I have looked at the transfer portal for some immediate transfers - these are the 5 OL I think we should probably keep an eye on in the coming weeks. Let me state by saying I have no inside information on these guys and this is just a gut feeling from me.
- Coy Cronk - Offensive Tackle - Indiana University - There was a rumor there was interest between Purdue and Cronk. This season, Cronk was injured and only played in 4 total games, giving him an additional year of eligibility. Cronk is rumored to prefer Iowa State, but with Storment leaving us, could Coach Brohm bring Cronk home? He is from Lafayette and played at Lafayette Central Catholic.
- Jake McKenzie - Offensive Tackle - Indiana University - Jake is another in state kid. I am not sure if he is Big Ten Starter Material, as he has been injured during his time at Ball State. I wanted to make sure to include him in this post. He played at Heritage Christian High School in Indianapolis. He was lightly recruited out of HS only being a 2* according to 247Sports.com
- Henry Hattis - Offensive Guard - Stanford University - Purdue has been after Henry since he entered the transfer portal. He would help shore up the interior offensive line, where we gave up many sacks last year. Henry is big, at 6-6 over 300 pounds and has played extensively at Stanford. He would be a great addition to the Offensive Line.
- Devery Hamilton - Offensive Tackle/Guard - Stanford University - Similar to Hattis, Devery has decided to leave Stanford, a program which currently is struggling. Devery has played both tackle and guard. We have been after him since he entered the portal as well. I see him as a right tackle if he were to come to Purdue.
- Liam Smith - Offensive Guard/Center - Duke University - From New Jersey, Liam Smith was a 3* prospect out of high school. In the last couple of classes, Purdue has recruited the east coast fairly well. We have a couple of coaches that played on the east coast, giving us a connection there. I have no idea who Liam is considering. But would be okay if he came to Purdue.
There are two things that are true about our offensive line.
The first, the offensive line definitely improved down the stretch last season. While the schedule got a bit easier, they put a couple of really good games together. Against IU and Iowa come to mind.
Secondly, there are obvious flaws to the offensive line as well. We have a glaring hole at right tackle now with the departure of long time starter, Matt McCann. We also need help with the interior offensive line as well.
We can all assume that Coach Brohm is still all over the grad transfer market looking for a fix to the offensive line. We cannot get bullied early on in the season like we did last year and expect to win. That only gets fixed with a grad transfer offensive lineman, or our current offensive linemen growing up & growing up quick.
I truly believe a successful season next year relies on how our offensive line performs - if they perform well, we will have a great season. If they struggle, our team will struggle.