It’s is a double player day today, so let’s get to it.
Chris Van Eekeren - Fr. (RS)
Chesterton, IN (Chesterton HS)
5’11”, 205 pounds
2020 Projection: Reserve at kicker
With J.D. Dellinger coming off of his best season it seems likely we won’t see Van Eekeren this year. After all, Dellinger is a fifth year senior and has a pair of game-winning kicks on his resume now. It’s his job to lose. The placekicking job will be wide open next season, however.
Van Eekeren was able to walk on and redshirt last season, and potentially could have a role as a kickoff specialist. As a junior at Chesterton HS 93% of his kickoffs went for touchbacks. In his final season he was 5 of 10 on field goals and 15 of 15 on PATs as Chesterton went 3-7 with an offense that only scored more than 17 points per game once. Chris Sailer kicking did label him a 5-star prospect.
It seems like he has a big leg, however, and he is undoubtedly going to be in the mix once Dellinger is gone.
Jacob Wahlberg - Fr. (RS)
Muskegon, MI (Mona Shores HS)
6’4”, 230 pounds
2020 Projection: Reserve at Linebacker
We actually saw Wahlberg last season briefly, and that could be a big benefit as Purdue needs depth at linebacker. He played in the maximum number of games (4) that he could play in to maintain his redshirt. He did not notch any statistics, however.
In high schools he was a three-star prospect with a solid highlight reel. He also participated in the 100 meters and the 200 meters in track and field, so speed is a nice element for him. If we have a season I expect him to contribute.