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Purdue Football: The Portal Is Hungry

Purdue loses 2 players to the insatiable portal.

Syndication: DesMoines Brian Powers/The Register via Imagn Content Services, LLC

If you were within a 500 mile radius of West Lafayette, Indiana you may have heard a popping noise followed by a flash yesterday morning. While alien activity can’t be fully discounted, the transfer portal is the more logical culprit.

Brady Allen

Losing Allen, long term, isn’t nearly as big a deal as it would have been before 4* quarterback Marcos Davilia was added to the 2024 recruiting class. Short term though, everyone needs to focus their energy on putting a bubble of protection around Hudson Card.

Purdue’s quarterback situation in 2023 went from thin, but workable, to “as long as Card is breathing, he’s the best choice,” in one flash of the portal. Of course, the portal flows both ways, but you have to get creative to bring in a veteran back-up quarterback. Basically, you need to find a guy looking to get a leg up in the back-up-quarterback-to-graduate-assistant pipeline. It’s not impossible, Clemson brought in Hunter Johnson last season and Paul Tyson this year, both vets looking for a soft landing in their post football life, but I’m not sure Coach Walters has those sort of connections yet (Johnson originally signed with Clemson, Tyson was recruiting heavily by Clemson before going with Alabama).

If the staff can’t pull a vet, they’re looking at a depth chart featuring walk-on Kyle Adams and true freshman Ryan Browne. That’s not ideal, but on the positive side of the equation, Browne isn’t your typical freshman after spending a year in prep school after finishing his high school career. Still, it would be less than ideal if Card needs to come out of a game for any reason other than mercy on the opponent.

On a weird side note, Allen’s departure finishes Jeff Brohm’s hilariously bad quarterback recruiting legacy at Purdue.

Stats for Brohm Recruited Quarterbacks

2017: Nick Sipe - 1 game - 1/1 - 3 yards

2018: Jack Plummer - 17 games - 3405 yards - 26 TDs - 10 INTs - 1 Cal Transfer

2019: Paul Piferi - 0 games - Now a tight end

2020: Michael Alaimo - 4 games - 9/18 - 74 yards - 1 TD - 1 INT - 2 trips to the portal

2021: No quarterback

2022: Brady Allen - 0 games - No stats - 2 trips to the portal

If you’re keeping track at home, Brohm’s 6 years of quarterback recruiting at Purdue netted exactly 1 starting quarterback, and he got beat out by a walk-on (granted an exceptional walk-on...this isn’t a slight to AOC). That’s not a great R.O.I. but at least Piferi is turning out to be a solid tight end.

Eric Miller

Allen’s transfer wasn’t surprising, he already spent some unsuccessful time in the portal looking for a P5 team willing to let him start (he didn’t find one the first time and won’t find one this time around either). Miller, on the other hand, appeared to be in line for, if not a starting job at right tackle, at least a time share.

I don’t understand this transfer unless Miller was told he wouldn’t start in 2023. Getting down to brass tacks, Miller is a serviceable tackle. Those guys are valuable, but much like Allen, I don’t think you’ll see a P5 turn over one of their starting tackle spots to Miller unless they are desperate. He’ll end up in a similar situation, unless he decides to step down a level.

Reading between the lines, Miller transferring must mean that Daniel Johnson is back, healthy, and at worst, worked himself into time share at right tackle. Johnson coming back is huge for Purdue (although I doubt Miller transfers if Johnson doesn’t come back) but losing an experienced tackle hurts depth. If anything happens to Johnson, sophomore right guard Marcus M’Bow is the logical successor, but he seems happy at guard. This is a spot Purdue could upgrade in the portal and allow Johnson to play the role of “swing” tackle (capable of playing either tackle spot off the bench).


The portal is a net positive for Purdue this season, but losing Allen’s potential and Miller’s experience hurts. Such is life in the portal, it both giveith and takeith away. Look for Purdue to try and find a back-up quarterback with some experience (possibly a guy that could play quarterback and another position?), and a starting caliber tackle in the portal over the next week.

Oddly enough, tackles are at a premium in the portal, while quarterbacks are a dime-a-dozen, but Purdue is in a better spot to land a tackle unless a portal transfer quarterback gets nervous about being totally shut out of college football next season, which, based on the numbers, is a reality many of these guys will face over the next few days.

Either way, it should be interesting.