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Purdue Football Scholarship Grid - 4/22/2021

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There have been changes, to say the least

NCAA Football: Foster Farms Bowl-Arizona vs Purdue Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

As far as we know, we’re getting a regular football season in 2021. Things are slated to begin with practice in August and kickoff Labor Day weekend at home against Oregon State. It is an absolutely critical year for Jeff Brohm, too. 2019 was decimated by injuries to seemingly every key player and 2020 was pretty much a wash across the board for all of college football, but Purdue still severely underachieved after a 2-0 start. The Minnesota game was a stolen win for the Gophers by the Big Ten officiating and a competent Purdue defense had zero business losing at home to Nebraska and Rutgers.

You have to throw it away and move on, however. Treat it as a glorified exhibition year, because that’s really what it was a for a Big Ten season that consisted of five games for some teams. Here in 2021, Purdue needs a bounce back to at least return to 2018 standards. It is the year where Purdue’s significantly stronger 2019 and 2020 recruiting classes must step to the forefront.

Even though last year was a glorified exhibition, it was still football, and the new NCAA rules have put the entire scholarship situation in flux for the next several years. That necessitates an update to the scholarship list. Here is what I have as best I have it:

Purdue Football Scholarship Grid

Player Position ('21-'22) ('22-'23) ('23-'24) ('24-'25) ('25-'26)
Player Position ('21-'22) ('22-'23) ('23-'24) ('24-'25) ('25-'26)
Greg Long OL FREE COVID YEAR
Anthony Watts DT FREE COVID YEAR
Semisi Fakasiieiki DE FREE COVID YEAR
Jackson Anthrop WR FREE COVID YEAR
CJ McWilliams CB Grad Transfer FREE COVID YEAR
Tyler Witt OL Grad Transfer FREE COVID YEAR
Alexander Horvath RB Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Robert McWilliams LB/DE Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Dedrick Mackey DB Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Mark Stickford OL Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
DJ Washington OL Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Aidan O'Connell QB Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Geovante Howard DB Senior FREE COVID YEAR
Austin Burton QB Senior FREE COVID YEAR
Jaylan Alexander LB Senior FREE COVID YEAR
DaMarcus Mitchell LB Senior FREE COVID YEAR
Jamari Brown DB Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Jeff Marks DT Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Jack Plummer QB Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Elijah Ball DB Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Kadin Smith DB Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Jack Cravaack DE Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Eric Miller OT Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Lawrence Johnson DT Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Will Bramel OL Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Jimmy McKenna OL Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
K.J. Stokes DE Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Branson Deen DE Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Jack Sullivan DE Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Cory Trice DB Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Kory Taylor WR Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Payne Durham TE Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
George Karlaftis DE Junior Senior FREE COVID YEAR
Brooks Cormier P Junior Senior FREE COVID YEAR
Cam Allen CB Junior Senior FREE COVID YEAR
King Doerue RB Junior Senior FREE COVID YEAR
Milton Wright WR Junior Senior FREE COVID YEAR
Jalen Graham DB Junior Senior FREE COVID YEAR
David Bell WR Junior Senior FREE COVID YEAR
TJ Sheffield WR Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Marvin Grant DB Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Mershawn Rice ATH Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Cam Craig OL Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Paul Piferi TE Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Kyle Bilodeau TE Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Dave Monnot III OL Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Spencer Holstege OL Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Dontay Hunter DE Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Nyles Beverly CB Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Khali Saunders LB Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Garrett Miller TE Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Sulaiman Kpaka DL Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Steven Faucheux DT Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Kyle Jornigan OL Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Jacob Wahlberg LB Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Joseph Anderson DL Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Octavius Brothers LB Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Clyde Washington LB Sophomore Junior Senior FREE COVID YEAR
Gus Hartwig OL Sophomore Junior Senior FREE COVID YEAR
Antonio Stevens DB Sophomore Junior Senior FREE COVID YEAR
Sanoussi Kane DB Sophomore Junior Senior FREE COVID YEAR
Ryan Brandt LB Sophomore Junior Senior FREE COVID YEAR
Chase Triplett LB Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Jared Bycznski OL Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Ben Kreul LB Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Michael Alaimo QB Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Josh Kaltenberger OL Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Collin Sullivan WR Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Kydran Jenkins LB Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Greg Hudgins DE Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Marcellus Moore WR Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Nalin Fox OL Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen WR Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Anthony Romphf DB Freshman (RS) Sophomore (RS) Junior (RS) Senior (5) FREE COVID YEAR
Bryce Austin DT Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Jaelin Alstott-VanDeVanter OL Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Preston Terrell WR Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Tristan Cox LB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Rickey Smith ATH Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Brandon Calloway DB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Zach Richards OL Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Khordae Sydnor DE Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Deion Burks WR Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Mahamane Moussa OL Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Ja'Quez Cross ATH Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Drew Biber TE Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Jah'Von Grigsby DB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Yanni Karlaftis LB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Marcus Mbow OL Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Brady Allen QB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Dominack Moon LB Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Total Scholarships Left 0 0 12 35 73
Total Scholarships Used 85 85 73 50 12
Yearly Limit Used (25 Max)

Now, onto the notes:

  • The four players at the very top (Greg Long, Anthony Watts, Jackson Anthrop, and Semisi Fakasiieiki) do not count against this year’s limit. They are 2020 seniors taking advantage of the NCAA one year waiver. They are on scholarship, but as 2020 seniors they are not counting against the 85 limit.
  • In the case of Fakasiieiki, Anthrop, and Watts, they are the final members of the team that spent a year with Darrell Hazell. All three redshirted in 2016.
  • In addition to those three Mark Stickford and Dedrick Mackey both committed before Hazell was officially fired in October 2016, so in 2022 Mackey and Stickford technically could be on the roster as Hazell recruits in year 6 of Brohm.
  • Beyond this season everyone that was on the roster during the 2020 season essentially gets an extra year of eligibility on the back end, but that extra year WILL COUNT against the limit in each of those seasons. Only in 2021 with returning seniors that were set to exhaust their eligibility (the four above) will that extra year not count against the limit.
  • Obviously this throws a massive wrench into recruiting for the next several seasons. Technically now Purdue is at the 85 limit for the 2022 season with a 2022 recruiting class of two. The situation will partially resolve itself, however. There are always guys leaving for various reasons. Players like David Bell and George Karlaftis have an excellent chance of declaring early for the NFL and being gone after this year. Several of this year’s seniors that would get the extra year next year may choose not to return as some would be entering their sixth year of college. Unless you want a doctorate, if you have no NFL prospects you might just be done.
  • Because of this, Purdue is expected to once again have a smaller recruiting class for 2022. It happens. There were few departing seniors after 2020 before COVID hit, and the same is true for 2021. This year 57 players return with at least two years of pre-free year eligibility, plus another 15 true freshmen. That’s 72 of the 84 scholarship players with at least two years left, meaning Purdue was young and is still (relatively) young.
  • As always, there are things up in the air for deserving walk-ons. Long snapper Nick Zecchino was a walk-on that was set to exhaust his eligibility last season, but he is returning for his senior bonus year and (I think) could be on scholarship without penalty. A player like Sam Garvin is an excellent candidate to get any open scholarship for this year.
  • Brohm’s 2019 recruiting class was his best yet as a fringe top 25 class, and the best we have had in the past decade by a pretty wide margin. This is the year it must pay off or recruiting will once again stagnate. Purdue’s 2021 class was hit by the 2019 downturn, COVID, and the fact it was a smaller class of only 14 players. The 2019 class are now sophomores and juniors. There are definite stars like Bell and Karlaftis. Milton Wright, Jalen Graham, Spencer Holstege, Cam Craig, and Marvin Grant are solid starters. this is the year the class as a whole has to start carrying Purdue and play up to its ranking. It feels like everything Brohm has tried to build hinges on this class, and it will make or break everything going forward.
  • Finally, Brohm is not going anywhere for at least two more years. That’s just a fact. his contract is too lucrative to buy out for some time. We’re going to have to roll the dice and trust this year at least gets us back to a bowl and reverses the last two seasons. The first two games are critical against an Oregon State team that was 2-5 a year ago and a UConn team that has been one of the worst FBS teams in each of the past few seasons. Purdue absolutely must go 2-0 against them. Beating Notre Dame in South Bend and Ohio State without their Ross-Ade kryptonite is a very tall order, but after going to South Bend there are very winnable home games against Illinois and Minnesota. From there, Brohm has done very well against Iowa, Nebraska may still be a bit of a mess, Michigan State was bad last year, the game at Wrigley against Northwestern is interesting, and Indiana... well, let’s just say Purdue’s best win last season was a lot better than Indiana’s best win. It needs to be a 6-6 season at the very worst. Yeah, that’s not a huge goal, but it is still progress after two years of backsliding.

Hopefully his means we get back to the swashbuckling Brohm that made football fun again in 2017.