Purdue picked up a verbal commitment for the 2021 today when Rickey Smith, a 6’1, 195 pound athlete out of Orlando, Florida, jumped on the Boilermaker Express.
What Smith Brings to the Table
He’s a solid athlete that could play a number of different positions in college. Rivals has him listed at “athlete”, 247 thinks he’s an outside linebacker. He’ll start his career at safety for Purdue. I think he’ll play the Jalen Graham role in the defense as a hybrid safety/linebacker.
Smith isn’t currently ranked by any of the recruiting services due to the current state of affairs and not his ability. He has offers from Miami, Missouri, and West Virginia, so it’s not like Purdue pulled his name out of a hat. If there were a camp circuit this year, Smith would most likely be ranked as a mid 3*.
He’s a legit power 5 prospect.
Smith is the hybrid type of defensive back that Bob Diaco likes to use in his defense. He shows good ball awareness in the middle of the field at safety, but could also play on the outside as a big zone corner. You’re going to see Purdue trend towards recruiting players with his skill set for the secondary.
What It Means For Recruiting
While it’s impossible to get a read on how many scholarships Purdue is going to offer in this class....could be 12, could be 15, could be 25...I’m fairly certain that this is a 1 safety class, and Smith is that safety.
It’s nice for the defensive staff to get back on the board. Coach Brown locked in on Smith and sealed the deal with some help from Coach Poindexter and player personnel director Eron Hodges.
Purdue still has one giant fish on the line they are desperately trying to land on defense....you know who he is and where he’s from. It looks like another corner could be on the menu (although Smith may fill that spot) and possibly a defensive end. Defensive tackle remains a tough spot to fill in this class, and so far, I’m not seeing much progress but hope springs eternal.