Today there are two players on the countdown who were both members of Ryan Walters’ first recruiting class which of course was a hybrid class with many of the players being recruited by the prior staff.
Ethon Cole - Freshman
Clermont, FL (Lake Minneola High School)
2023 Projection: Likely redshirt
Cole comes to Purdue as a three star prospect who was ranked as the 81st best safety prospect by ESPN. During his time in high school he got his 6A team into the state finals in 2020 and also qualified for the state track meet as a member of the 4x100 team. That means he’s got some speed. Not easy to qualify for the state track meet in any event but the 4x100 is usually an incredibly stacked event. Let’s hope that speed translates onto the football field.
Cole comes from a football family. His dad played collegiate football at Bethune-Cookman and his brother played at South Dakota State.
If Walters had not gone out and made the defensive backfield such a priority in the transfer portal I would have said that Cole had a chance to see the field in a backup role this year but given the way in which Walters transformed the position group I think it’s likely that Cole is headed for a redshirt. That’s no slight on Cole or his abilities, the vast majority of college football players could use a redshirt when they come in. Given a year to learn the playbook, get acclimated to college life, and transform his body it wouldn’t surprise me to see Cole earn a larger on field role next season.