If it’s Saturday it must be the roundtable. Where I ask the staff a question and share their answers with you. Today? A football related question.
How do you explain the rapid increase in the quality of recruits that Purdue football is getting? Is it just simply that Ryan Walters has changed the attitude around the program from the Jeff Brohm era?
This is an interesting question because there have nearly been more 4 star commitments under Ryan Walters in less than a year than there was under the entire tenure of Jeff Brohm. So what’s the difference? Is it just as simple as Walters has something to sell and fully believes in Purdue? Jeff Brohm, who did a lot of good things for Purdue, always had one foot out the door at Louisville and I think it’s hard not to notice that. Walters is also quite a bit younger than Jeff Brohm. 52 vs. 37 to be exact. I think that age difference is easily seen in the way they present on social media. Compare Ryan Walters and Jeff Brohm’s feeds and you can see a difference. Walters feels much more comfortable with all the things you have to do in modern recruiting. Brohm feels stilted most of the time, unless he’s shirtless playing volleyball in one of the more bizarre videos I’ve seen of late.
Walters is a guy that just feels more comfortable being who he is and doing so publicly. Brohm often bristled at many of the trappings of the job. The attitude change from Brohm to Walters is stark. A difference has been seen on the recruiting trail already, what will it mean for on field performance? Only time will tell.
I don’t claim to be a recruiting expert, nor do I know what it takes to have pull with potential recruits, but Purdue football definitely has a fresh feel to it. The whole vibe is different, and it feels like there’s real excitement surrounding this football program right now. Maybe recruits can feel that too.
Or it could just be the cool facility upgrades, I really don’t know.
I think it is pretty simple: Ryan Walters has brought in a fresh feel to Purdue Football that includes social media presence and just a cooler vibe for athletes. That said, Jeff Brohm did immensely help raise the ground for Purdue Football for coach Walters to take off from. Also, with the transfer portal, coach Walters didn’t have to do a full tear down of the program, making Purdue still a desirable destination in the initial years of his tenure.
According to a number of recruits that I have spoken with, there is a glaring difference between the previous staff under Jeff Brohm and the one currently at Purdue under Ryan Walters. What many of them have stated is a total feeling of being comfortable with all of the coaches and a family feeling permeating from the building. One current player has stated that all coaches, from the head coach down, are available to speak to you at any time. From I understand, that wasn’t always the case with the previous staff and it was a very much business first atmosphere.
Now, I am not trying to put down the previous coaching staff because what they were doing was obviously working but I think there needs to be a good balance between business only and fancy free. I believe Ryan Walters has seen that in his previous stop under Brett Bielema who appears to be totally comfortable in his own skin after taking over for Barry Alvarez at Wisconsin (and likely being micromanaged there) and his time at Arkansas.
There is something to be said about a man in charge of a program who is comfortable in his own skin and being utterly unashamed about who that is. Ryan Walters appears to be that and that kind of genuine personality can be a bright light in an industry where snake oil salesmen often will do anything and say anything to get ahead.