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97 Days to Purdue Football: Jamarrion Harkless

We’ve got a big dude with a big number on day 2 of our countdown to football.

Syndication: The Courier-Journal Matt Stone/Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Jamarrion Harkless

True Freshman - Recruiting Class of 2023

Lexington, KY - Fredrick Douglas High School

6’4” - 310

Nose Guard

2023 Projection - Redshirt

Signing Harkless, one of the top pure nose guards in the nation, was a coup for Coach Walters and company. Harkless, originally an Illinois commit, decommitted after Coach Walters and company departed Champaign for West Lafayette. After Illinois, Harkless committed to Auburn, but they hired Hugh Freeze (gross) and Jamarrion decided to circle back to Coach Walters on signing day and sign up with the Boilermakers over offers from LSU, Ole Miss, Louisville, Michigan, Georgia and a host of others. Pretty much any team looking for a nose guard tossed an offer out to Harkless. In my opinion, he’s the jewel of the 2023 class. He certainly had the most high level offers.

He is already on campus after enrolling early, but according to position coach Brick Hailey, he had to work through some physical stuff (injury I’m assuming) at the start of camp. I’m not sure if those issues are cleared up yet, but hopefully he’ll be at full strength for fall camp.

At the moment, I see a redshirt on the way for Harkless. Size wise, he’s ready to go out of the box, but he’ll need to refine his technique and continue to build his lower body strength the anchor the middle against college centers and guards. Purdue has Cole Brevard, Damarjhe Lewis and Mo Omonode in front of him on the depth chart. The only way I see Jamarrion avoiding a redshirt is Lewis not coming back 100% from his fractured ankle. If Lewis is back, Purdue has 2 big nose guards and a smaller (if you consider 285 small), penetrating nose in Omonode, and Harkless can watch, learn, hit the weight room and get healthy over the next season.

Any time you can redshirt a nose tackle, it’s a good idea.