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Purdue Football Player Countdown: #96 Ben Furtney

Our restarted countdown now features a freshman walk-on.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 07 Vanderbilt at Purdue Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Since we restarted the player countdown in search of sweet, sweet content we have, by my count (and Hall French’s count) 27 new players to feature as either new walk-ons or new incoming freshmen. Let’s get to it with a freshman walk-on.

Ben Furtney - Fr.

South Elgin, IL (St. Charles North HS)

6’, 210 pounds


2020 Projection: Likely redshirt

When I was looking at Ben’s profile I was trying to remember why St. Charles North HS was ringing a bell in my head. I finally remember that it is because of Kendall Stephens, who played at rival St. Charles East HS. That was before Ben’s time, however. Furtney comes to Purdue as a preferred walk-on, meaning he already had a spot, but no scholarship, when he arrived:

Furtney, St. Charles North’s senior linebacker, was a three-year starter for the North Stars. As a junior he was part of a historic season in St. Charles. He was a Blue-Grey-American this year. Now he’s headed for the Big Ten.

Furtney on Wednesday signed with Purdue as a preferred walk-on.

Furtney was one of four North Stars to officially firm up their college plans, joining quarterback Kyler Brown (Minnesota-Duluth), defensive lineman DJ Oshin (St. Ambrose) and offensive lineman Matt Fell (Massachusetts Maritime Academy).

“Personally, it felt nice to find a school that I felt a home [with] and comfortable,” Furtney said. “Just kind of celebrating that moment with the guys was great. Us four, from freshman year to senior year [went] through a lot [with] ups and downs. Just knowing that we all found a school that we feel great to have committed to and excited to be a part of, it was a great day.”

Per that same article he had 58 tackles, 8 for loss, and he helped his school reach the Class 7A state title game for the first time as a junior in 2018. He was garnering Division II and FCS interest, but decided to give Purdue a shot back in February.

Furtney will almost certainly redshirt when football starts, but we have seen plenty of walk-ons make it to the field of late.