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Purdue Football: UCLA Grad Transfer QB Austin Burton Chooses Purdue.

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Purdue adds another arm to an already crowded quarterback room.

Oregon State v UCLA Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images

UCLA grad transfer quarterback Austin Burton announced that he will transferring to Purdue. Burton is a redshirt junior with 2 years of eligibility remaining.

As a High School Recruit

Pro Style QB Class of 2017

Height and Weight: 6’3, 210

High School: West Orange High School, Winter Garden Florida

Star Ranking: 3* (.8144)

National Ranking: 1755

Position Ranking: 62

State Ranking: 257

Offers: UCLA (committed), Boston College

At UCLA

2017: Redshirt

2018: No appearances

2019:

Games Appeared In: 6

Completions: 44

Attempts: 64

Comp %: 68.8

Yards: 365

TD: 1

INT: 0

QB Rating: 121.8

Rush Attempts: 23

Yards: 100

Yards Per Rush: 4.3

TD: 1

Evaluation

Burton appeared in 6 games in 2019 for Chip Kelly, but played sparingly in 5 of those games. His best college performance came in a start against Oregon State in 48-31 loss. In that game he attempted 41 passes, completed 27, threw for 236 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. He also ran for 64 yards and a touchdown on 15 attempts.

Based on the limited film from UCLA, it looks like Burton brings a more mobile option to the Purdue quarterback room. His roll out touchdown pass was impressive. He also showed good arm strength on a couple middle of the field throws. Playing for Chip Kelly for 3 years means he’s well versed in the read option game. On his rushing touchdown, he made the correct read and pulled the ball out and walked into the end zone.

How He Fits

This has nothing to do with Burton’s ability. He looks like he’s a solid quarterback prospect, but I’m surprised Brohm brought in a 5th quarterback to compete for the 2020 starting job.

Right now these are the quarterbacks on the roster:

Aidan O’Connell - Jr.

Austin Burton - Jr.

Jack Plummer - So.

Paul Piferi - Fr.

Michael Alaimo - Fr.

That’s a full quarterback room considering Plummer, Piferi, and Alaimo are all Brohm recruits. Last season both O’Connell and Plummer started games. Plummer played in 7 games with mixed results, throwing for 1603 yards, 11 touchdowns and 8 interceptions before being put on the shelf for the remainder of the season with a nasty ankle injury. O’Connell played in 6 games, including 3 as a starter and threw for 1101 yards, 8 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.

Brohm needs to get the quarterback position right, and the depth chart is wide open, but you would hope in 4 recruiting classes he would find the right guy for the job. That’s a huge scholarship commitment to a position where, ideally, only one guy plays. Adding Burton to the mix, to me, shows that Brohm has some questions about the quarterbacks already on campus and wants to at least take a look at another guy.

The weirdness surrounding college football (and the world in general) right now also makes me question this pick up. For Burton to be a good addition to Purdue, he needs to start this year, and that’s going to be tough when 3 other guys on the roster already know the offense and have established at least some report with the receivers. If he doesn’t start this year, I don’t see him beating out whoever does start this year unless things go seriously south.

Brohm knows better than I do and this could be an incredible find that pushes Purdue over the top, but on the surface, it looks like he’s adding a player to a crowded position when other positions are still paper thin.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Hopefully Burton is the real deal.