Hey ya’ll, I’m back. I’ll be going over Bob Diaco’s preference at linebacker a little later in the week, but I thought starting the week off with a quick recruiting roundup might be useful.
*I’m using the 24/7 composite for rankings
Preston Terrell - WR - 6’3, 180 - Brownsburg High School - Brownsburg, IN
Star Rating - 3* (.8628)
National Rank - 573
Position Rank - 89
State Rank - 9
Lead Recruiter - JaMarcus Shephard
Other Listed Offers - Akron, Ball State, Indiana State
Jr. Year Stats
Receptions - 52
Yards - 823
Touchdowns - 10
Terrell was the first player to commit to Purdue’s 2021 recruiting class. He’s the highest rated wide receiver in the state of Indiana, and the way Purdue has been recruiting receivers, he was smart to jump on an offer early. Don’t read too much into his offer list. If he didn’t shut down his recruiting early, he was in line for Big10 offers
When I watch Terrell on tape, I see some John Standeford in his game. He’s not exactly a burner, but he’s 6’3 with long legs and easy speed. It doesn’t look like he’s moving that fast, but he eats up ground. He also has plus hands and tracks the ball well, which allows him to make impressive, acrobatic catches. In the redzone, he uses his height and leaping ability to haul in fades over smaller defensive backs. He plays in a pass happy offense with Kansas bound Ben Easters pulling the trigger, subsequently, he already has an impressive route tree at his disposal.
Terrell is a guy that will most likely need to marinade at Purdue for a season or two, based solely on the talent in front of him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes a redshirt and works on filling out his frame his first year on campus. Overall, I like his game, and he has the potential to help Purdue at either the boundary or field wide receiver position. Personally, I see him as a boundary receiver because of his height and penchant for making contested catches.
Byron Threats - ATH - 5’10, 190 - Dublin Coffman High School - Dublin, OH
Star Rating - 3* (.8577)
National Rank - 624
Position Rank - 53
State Rank - 28
Lead Recruiter - Chris Barclay
Other Listed Offers - Boston College, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Iowa State, Kentucky, Michigan State, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Assortment of G5 schools
I love this pick up by Purdue. Threats is a versatile athlete who can legitimately project as a D1 prospect at 4 positions (RB, Slot Receiver, Corner, Safety). Chris Barclay was his primary recruiter, and made it clear that he was being recruited as an athlete, but depending on how the rest of the class shakes out, it’s a good bet that he’ll start his Purdue career at running back.
As a back he has explosive speed. When he hits the hole, he’s got an extra gear that defenders can’t find. I like the how he show patience, letting a hole develop, before hitting the gas and taking it to the next level. He’s not the biggest guy, a little tall and lean for a traditional running back, but he’s got enough lower body strength to run through arm tackles. He also has a knack for not giving defenders something to hit. He’s got a slippery style that defenders can’t square up. I think Kory Sheets is a good Purdue comp for his running style.
In addition to his running, Threats is an excellent kick returner. The skill set he utilizes as running back also pays dividends as a kick returner. When he finds a seam in the kick coverage, he hits the gas and is through to the other side before the coverage can close. He could contribute early in his career as a return specialist while perfecting his craft as a running back. I’m not sure he’ll be an every down back like Sheets, but could provide the “lighting” to a “thunder and lighting” backfield rotation.
Jaelin Alstott-VanDeVanter - OT - 6’7, 260 - Mooresville High School, Mooresville, IN
Star Rating - 3* (.8466)
National Rank - 858
Position Rank - 83
State Rank - 13
Lead Recruiter - Dale Williams
Other Listed Offers - Cincinnati, Indiana
Jaelin Alstott-Vandevanter is a prototypical Dale Williams recruit. He’s a tall, athletic tackle prospect who needs significant work at the training table and weight room before he’s ready to play in the Big10. He would be a take for Purdue, even without being the cousin of Mike Alstott and Anthony Spencer (but I’m sure that didn’t hurt in recruiting).
Like most tall high school linemen, he needs to work on pad level, but he’s got solid feet and fires off the ball well for a tackle that plays almost exclusively in a 2 point stance. You can see the raw ability on film, but there is plenty of refining that needs to happen in college before he sees the field.
He’s another “wait and see” offensive line prospect. I don’t see him as a player that could easily transition to guard, but it’s hard to predict with these guys. To me, he looks like current Boilermaker Eric Miller as a recruit. That doesn’t mean much, other than he’s a tall, athletic, tackle prospect that needs to work on his strength and fill out his frame. He’s a solid long range prospect for the Boilermakers.
Tristan Cox - ILB - 6’3, 235 - Pulaski County High School - Somerset, KY
Star Rating - 3* (.8316)
National Rank - NA
Position Rank - 41
State Rank - 11
Lead Recruiter - Chris Barclay
Other Listed Offers - Cincinnati, Kentucky, Louisville
Cox has the physical characteristics Bob Diaco covets in a middle linebacker. He’s a big, stout guy capable of fighting off linemen and making tackles. This is the type of linebacker I expect to see under Diaco. They’re going to be big, tough run stoppers who live in the A and B Gap. Purdue hasn’t exactly been known as a team that features big middle linebackers, making Ja’Whaun Bentley the best comparison I could think of for Cox.
Cox is more than just a big guy. When he’s not tracking down ball carriers, he’s toting the rock. Pulaski County isn’t exactly flush with talent, so Cox is deployed on both sides of the ball. He’s a tough, athletic running back who could easily project as a fullback or H-back in college. He’s a little like high school RB/LB Markus Bailey in that respect. You put the ball in the hands of your best athlete, and Cox is far and away the best athlete on his high school team.
Physically, I think Cox has all the tools to be an impact player for the the Purdue defense. He will, however, have to make the jump from being the best athlete on the field, to a great athlete surrounded by other great athletes. That’s always an interesting transition for a player coming from a small, rural high school. If he can figure it out, I think you’ll see him on the field sooner, rather than later. If nothing else, he’ll be a valuable piece on coverage teams.
Purdue did an excellent job of finding a player off the beaten recruiting path that perfectly fits their system.
Brandon Calloway - CB - 6’2, 175 - Griffin High School - Griffin, GA
Star Rating - 3* (.8215)
National Rank - NA
Position Rank - 98
State Rank - 86
Lead Recruiter - Terrance Jamison
Other Listed Offers - Illinois
Much like Cox, this is Purdue recruiting to a specific body type. Diaco likes tall, physical corners to match up on the outside, and make tackles in zone. Calloway checks those two boxes. Purdue has attempted to improve the size of their cornerbacks during the Brohm era, but returns have been mixed. Calloway is similar to CB/S hybrid Cam Allen, but I think the coaching staff would prefer Calloway to stick at CB, where Allen was always projected as hybrid player.
Outside of size, Calloway brings an aggressive, violent style to the corner position. He’s not afraid to lay a big hit on a running back coming out of the backfield or a wide receiver settling in the zone in front of him. I like him as a zone coverage corner, and I think you’ll see Purdue play a good bit of zone under Diaco. He’s the type of hitter that makes receivers hear footsteps.
Speed and agility will be the two questions Brandon will have to answer if he’s going to play man at Purdue. On film, his speed looks adequate, but D1 football is a different beast. Everyone wants a 6’2 corner to compete on the outside with the never ending parade of 6’3+ outside receivers, but it’s hard for them to stick at the position. Corners need to mirror routes, and taller corners tend to struggle coming in out out of breaks, when they need to get their rear ends low. They also have a hard time getting their feet started again if a wide receiver sells them on a double move or they get caught looking in the backfield for a moment.
That said, if you can find a 6’2 corner that can cover, you’ve got an elite player on your hands. The top 4 corners projected corners in the NFL draft are all 6’0 or taller. If Calloway pans out, Purdue will have a player to help limit mismatches on the outside.