When the player countdown begins you know it’s time to really get serious about football season. This year the team kicks off on September 2. That means that today, Saturday, May 27th is 98 days until kickoff. The first player on our list this year is an early enrollee from Carmel, Indiana.
Will Heldt - True Freshman
Carmel, IN - Carmel High School
2023 Projection - Linebacker depth
Will Heldt comes to Purdue as an early enrollee. He graduated high school a semester early and headed off to Purdue. That alone is an amazing accomplishment and a great commitment. It’s not something I think most of us would have been prepared to do emotionally. Rest assured though he was able to walk in graduation and go to his senior prom. In fact, you might’ve seen his promposal plastered on the Purdue football social media channels. You missed it you say? Well, have no fear, it’s all here for you below.
Most of our incoming freshmen make the walk to receive their high school diplomas this week.— Purdue Football (@BoilerFootball) May 24, 2023
Some, like @WillHeldt8 and @DillonThieneman, already have 1 college semester in the books.
Day in the Life of the Purdue freshmen ⬇ pic.twitter.com/wBKhECCQLz
But Heldt is more than just a fun follow on social media, he’s also a highly touted prospect out of Carmel. Heldt chose the Boilers over offers from the Iowa Hawkeyes, Wake Forest, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa State Cyclones, and the Minnesota Golden Gophers. According to 247, Heldt is the 686th ranked player in the country, the 67th rated linebacker, and the 10th rated player in the state of Indiana.
Heldt played defensive end in high school but projects as an outside linebacker who may occasionally put his hand in the dirt as his career progresses. At Carmel Heldt finished his career with 190 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, and 10 sacks.
With the Boilermakers unexpectedly losing linebacker Jacob Wahlberg to the transfer portal approximately two weeks ago it likely moves Heldt up the depth chart ever so slightly. Though Wahlberg was an inside linebacker his departure likely means some shuffling and jostling around for spots. How will this impact Heldt? It’s tough to say with certainty as we know so little about the new Ryan Walters/Kevin Kane defense at this point. Whatever it means, I expect a guy like Heldt to take full advantage of any opportunity presented him. Early enrollees are generally those that the team believes can make a difference.