Sup y’all, I’m stuck in quarantine for a week after visiting my parents in South Carolina (no worries, I’m fine, I stayed at my parent’s secluded lake house and probably saw 8 or 9 people total). This seems like a good time to get ahead for once and kick off the H&R 2022 football recruiting extravaganza.
Granted, 2022 feels like some time in the far distant future with flying cars and food replicators, but according to the calendar it’s a year and a half away. At the same time, the calendar also indicates that March 2020 happened 4 months ago, and I’m almost certain March 2020 occurred sometime in my mid 20’s (I’m currently 39). Anyway, I’m almost certain 2022 is something that will happen, and we want you, our esteemed and venerated readers, to be up to date on Purdue football recruiting when it does.
The first step in figuring out who Purdue is recruiting is discerning areas of need. With most teams this is easy. Take a peak at the roster, look at the Jr. class, and you’re probably close to the answer. It’s a little different with Purdue because of roster turnover and over-signing.
As of now, Purdue has 11 scholarship juniors on the roster. I don’t anticipate Purdue having an 11 man 2022 recruiting class. The coaching staff has to figure out a way to even up the classes, otherwise they’re going to have to walk away from potential top in talent in 2022 because they lack roster space. At the moment it’s a big mess, and I honestly haven’t seen a college football roster built like this...ever, but Brohm gets paid the big bucks to figure this stuff out, and I’m sure there will be a solution (probably serious attrition from the sophomore and redshirt freshman class, which creates it’s own issues down the line).
I’m taking the easy way out and hoping the roster stabilizes and the position numbers start to even out.
2022 Recruiting Needs - Offense
Players Out: 2
O’Connell, a former walk-on, is found money for Purdue. It’s rare that a quarterback with his ability shows up in a basket on your doorstep in need of a good home. He’ll be in the mix for the starting job in 2020, and if he manages to win the job, he will hopefully hold it through 2021, providing Purdue with much needed stability at the quarterback position.
Adding Austin Burton, a UCLA transfer with immediate eligibility was an interesting off-season pick up for the Boilermakers. Purdue will have 5 scholarship quarterbacks in 2020 and 6 in 2021 if everything plays out by the book. Burton only makes sense if he comes in and wins the starting job, and he’ll have every opportunity to win the job. Much like AOC, if Burton wins the job, he needs to hold it for 2020 and 2021. If that happens, it was a master stroke by Brohm and company, if not, it’s a 2 year wasted scholarship. Sometimes you have to gamble to win big though, and Burton has enough talent to justify the gamble.
This is where things get interesting in terms of numbers. It’s hard not to anticipate roster attrition at this position, but it’s a spot Purdue can afford attrition. Most teams don’t carry 5 scholarship QB, much less 6. Purdue loses Burton and AOC after 2021, but losing 1 or even 2 quarterbacks to transfer shouldn’t change the math for 2022, unless Brohm enjoys hoarding quarterbacks like a crazy cat lady.
In theory, this position is already wrapped up for 2022 with the verbal commitment of 4* Gibson Southern (IN) signal caller Brady Allen (click here for more information on Allen). Adding Allen while dropping 2 quarterbacks (or more) off the roster will give Purdue a small amount of wiggle room in 2022 in terms of scholarship numbers.
Player In: 1 (Brady Allen)
Players Out: 1
Much like AOC, Horvath was found money for Purdue. In theory, he’s a huge back with steamroller potential (he needs to figure out how to run behind his pads, Coach Barclay should be making him watch Mike Alstott film Clockwork Orange style until he gets low in contact). He’ll be a contributor somewhere on the field, even if he eventually transitions to fullback or some sort of H-back hybrid.
This is a spot where Purdue could potentially save a scholarship as well. King Doerue, Da’Joun Hewitt, Tirek Murphy, and potentially Byron Threats (depending on what position he plays) will all be in town in 2022 (barring a transfer). Throw in Alfred Armour, and his ability to fill a similar role as Horvath, and Purdue doesn’t have to take a running back.
At the same time, if Threats doesn’t end up in the backfield, and things progress in the 2021 recruiting class like they are now, Purdue would skip on the running back position in both 2021 and 2022.
That’s not ideal.
I think Purdue ends up taking a running back in this class, but if they don’t hit on their first couple options, they don’t have to move down the recruiting board to fill a hole. Basically, they can swing for the fences, and if they strike out, much like 2021, it’s not terrible.
Players In: 0-1
Players Out: 0
This is where things get interesting. Purdue has an absolute glut of receivers in their Freshman, RS Freshman, and Sophomore classes (10 to be exact). I thought you would see some pairing back with the 2021 class, but the coaching staff added 2 more, replacing the 2 wider receivers that will graduate in 2020. Neither is a can’t miss 4* guy (although both are talented, this is in no way saying they aren’t worthy of a Purdue scholarship, this is only about roster management).
If you’re going best case scenario (numbers wise) and think David Bell will declare early (far from a certainty) that puts Purdue at 9 WRs. Let’s assume that Purdue loses another wide receiver to transfer, putting them at 8 going into the season.
I’ll use Clemson and Kansas State as an example, because I know their rosters and can sort through who is and isn’t on scholarship quickly.
Clemson generally carries 8 scholarship wide receivers. In 2020 they will have 8 (including Justyn Ross who will miss the 2020 season). They will be fine with 7 scholarship wide receivers.
Kansas State will carry 8 wide receivers on their 2020 roster, several of whom started as walk-ons. They’ll also be fine with 8.
Even if Purdue starts with 8, there is no way they skip the receiver position in the 2022 class, even though it’s an obvious spot to make up some room for other positions in desperate need of numbers.
The question isn’t if Purdue takes a receiver in 2022, but how many?
I think it should be 1 and he should be a 4* slam dunk, but it’ll at least be 2, and 3 wouldn’t shock me. I don’t get it, and it leaves some other positions short handed, but that’s how Brohm likes to manage his roster.
Such is life.
Players In: 1-3
Players Out: 4
Not much to say about this group. They’ve got plenty to prove over the next 2 seasons, and I’m not overly optimistic. Garvin, a former walk-on, may be the best of the bunch when all is said and done unless Beach can get his back in order. These guys were all “developmental” offensive linemen from the start though, so it’s possible they develop in the final 2 years of eligibility, but the clock is ticking.
I’m an advocate of taking 5 offensive linemen every recruiting cycle, especially if you’re signing mostly mid to low 3* guys like Purdue. You need a bunch of bodies because offensive line recruiting is a shot in the dark unless you’re ordering off the top of the recruiting menu. You recruit guys with traits you like and hope like hell they pan out.
Purdue currently has two offensive linemen signed up in the 2021 class, and with one possible exception (Canon Boone and 3* OT/OG out of Texas) I don’t like Purdue’s chances of adding to that haul unless they poach a recruit or two from a G5 school late in the process (not even sure there are scholarships available to do that).
2022, numbers wise, isn’t looking much better. If Purdue takes 4-5 offensive linemen (5 would be ideal if they only get 2 in 2021) that’s going to be roughly a third of their currently available scholarships. I don’t think that happens. Best case scenario is 4, but I think 3 is the more realistic target as of now (this could obviously change w/ more roster attrition).
Players In: 3-5
Much like the 2021 class, the numbers in 2022 are going to be limited unless major roster turnover occurs (which isn’t out of the question). This needs to be an offensive line heavy offensive class with a few elite skill players thrown into the mix.
So far so good with Brady Allen.
I’ll be back in a few days with the defense, but sneak preview...it’s similar to the offense in terms of currently available scholarships.