Before the 2019 seas only the most diehard of Purdue fans knew who Aidan O’Connell was. All we knew was that he had made some waves and surprised many by getting the No. 3 spot on the depth chart behind Elijah Sindelar and Jack Plummer. Here is what I said about him in that year’s Countdown to Purdue Football post:
O’Connell will only likely see the field if Sindelar and Plummer get hurt this year, but he did impress during the spring game. He is a viable option in an emergency.
Guess what? Sindelar and Plummer got injured. O’Connell started the final three games, got three more starts before injury ended his 2020 season, then platooned with Plummer before seizing the job and becoming an all-Big Ten caliber QB this year. He was a fifth year senior, but because of the Free COVID year he can come back for one more go-round in 2022.
He’s coming back:
AOC has put up some huge numbers this year. He only started eight games. He didn’t play at all in the opener and got some mop-up duty against UConn, but he has thrown for almost 3,200 yards. Had he been the starter all year he probably breaks the single season passing record with over 4,000 yards. that’s in reach next year.
He has gone from walk-on to Second Team all-Big Ten selection and with a solid 2022 he is probably an NFL draft pick. The Burlsworth Trophy for nation’s most outstanding player that began as a walk-on is also on the table.
With Plummer entering the transfer portal it makes the backup duel between Michael Alaimo and Brady Allen very interesting, but it also gives both a year of prep to take over in 2023.