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Purdue Football: Jack Plummer, Aidan O’Connell or Austin Burton?

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The Quarterback position once again is an open competition.

Nebraska v Purdue Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Since Coach Brohm arrived, quarterback has always been an open competition going into the season.

Last year may have been the only year that Elijah Sindelar was the clear cut number one.

The first two seasons, we had Elijah Sindelar vs David Blough. Then Sindelar took over in 2019.

This year it is a 3 way battle, in which Coach Brohm had a shortened Spring and shortened summer to let this competition grow.

But, what do these guys bring? How have they fared in previous playing time? Lastly, who do I think is the starting quarterback?

Name: Jack Plummer

Class: Redshirt Sophomore

Size: 6-5, 225 Pounds

2019 Stats: 7 Games Played, 144 of 241, 59.8% Completion, 1603 Yards, 11 Touchdowns, 8 Interceptions

Strengths: Mobile (not dual threat but can move the pocket), 3 years of experience under Brohm’s system, Will stand tall in the pocket, strong arm

Weaknesses: Accuracy (below 60% isn’t great), High interception rate (About every 30 throws)

Name: Aidan O’Connell

Class: Junior

Size: 6-3, 205 Pounds

2019 Stats: 6 Games Played, 103 of 164, 62.8% Completion, 1101 Yards, 8 Touchdowns, 4 Interceptions

Strengths: A bit more accurate than Plummer, nice touch on deep ball, finished the season playing well

Weaknesses: Not a huge arm, not extremely mobile (but enough to avoid pressure)

Name: Austin Burton

Class: Junior

Size: 6-2, 200 Pounds

2019 Stats: 44 of 64, 68.8% Completion (basically 69 nice), 365 yards, 1 touchdown

Strengths: Very mobile, Appears to be accurate (small sample size)

Weaknesses: Back up at UCLA for 2 seasons when there was poor QB play overall, small sample size of playing meaningful minutes, new to the system with a shorter summer and fall.

Prediction:

  1. Jack Plummer
  2. Austin Burton
  3. Aidan O’Connell

In the overall landscape, Jack was an early Brohm recruit and raved about him as an incoming freshman. While he struggled a bit last season, I am here to remind you that he was a 2nd year freshman with no previous game experience and was pushed into action during the most competitive part of our schedule.

I do believe this is an extremely close 3 man race and that Austin Burton brings in some skills that the other two don’t have. If Coach Brohm was comfortable with Aidan and Jack, he would not have looked at the grad transfer market for a two year guy. Burton played in a similar system at UCLA.

As for Aidan, he filled in admirably when called upon and it clearly a capable football player at Purdue. But, with the Offensive Line being it’s own issue, I do like the idea of having a quarterback that is not super mobile.

In the end, we have 3 quarterbacks that are able to play for us if needed and a couple of young guys with high ceilings as well.

October 24th is around the corner!