Hi, Purdue fans. My name is Garrett and I am not from Indiana.
With Purdue having landed some serious talent who couldn’t crack the top of the depth chart at their previous schools, I have seen more pessimistic Purdue fans say things along the lines of “if they were recruited by a playoff caliber team, they’re just using poor little Purdue as a stopgap before they can transfer to a different blue blood program.”
There have also been many more optimistic Boilers who, in comments on this very site that we are so happy you choose to read for long silly diatribes like this, have welcomed these types of transfers. So before I get into my most important (that’s a loose use of the word important) opinions on this matter, shoutout to the Positive Purdue Petes out there.
1. Purdue is not “looked down upon” on a national scale!
Let me tell you this as a 28-year-old who grew up obsessed with college football but several hundred miles away from West Lafayette:
I was born in San Antonio and grew up in Atlanta. People in Big 12 and SEC country don’t look at Purdue and think they’re UConn (sorry, UConn).
Even just as somebody who started actually understanding football around the turn of the millennium, Purdue is still considered to be a team that always puts players in the NFL by anyone who pays attention.
Especially with that offensive identity when Jim Chaney was the offensive coordinator! I was a lanky little nerd playing quarterback in a flag football league, and two of my favorite quarterbacks growing up were Brees and Orton. And especially around the talent-rich Austin area where most of my aunts and uncles still live, Purdue was and is a highly-respected place to go for any skill position player between Round Rock and China Grove.
I grew up an outsider from this program I came to love, but I urge some Boilermaker faithful to put some more respect on that giant italicized block P logo. People who don’t have a reason to root for the Boilers and know anything about college football already respect the Power P, Cradle of Quarterbacks, and Den of Defensive Ends!
2. Even if a transfer ends up as a rental player before moving on to Alabama or Michigan or USC (or the NFL) for a lot of money, that still makes Ryan Walters and his staff look good at developing talent!
One year of a great player before they leave for more money is better than 0 years, and even if they do decide to take a bigger bag elsewhere, that just shows future recruits (from both the smelly halls of high schools and the increasingly confusing labyrinth that is the transfer portal) that Purdue is a good place to grow.
We’re in a new era of college football. Recruiting doesn’t stop after you’re enrolled. There will be players who show up, have a good year, then take a bag somewhere else. Some of the aforementioned Positive Petes brought up a good point that I will paraphrase:
Would you rather have one year from a player on a national championship team, thus serving another purpose in keeping him from another team on our schedule (even just for one year), or would you rather him never contribute for Purdue? And potentially contribute against Purdue?
Yes, I graduated from UGA, but any bias aside, it’s a fact that the Bulldogs have had the top-ranked recruiting class three out of the last five years.
You saw it with early 2000’s Southern Cal. You saw it with mid-2000’s Texas. You saw it with Alabama and Ohio State in the 2010’s. All of that was before money above the table was involved.
For a team that recruits on god-tier levels in spans of more than four years, that talent is going to have to find a place to get on-field reps when fellow blue-chip recruits barely beat them out at their original college destination. There’s going to be attrition. There are going to be players who could start at tons of big-name schools.
Please don’t forget that, to many people even outside the train tracks, Purdue is a big-name school.
3. That last part was mostly hypothetical situations because I really trust Ryan Walters and his defensive philosophy in conjunction with Graham Harrell and his offensive philosophy going forward!
Ryan Walters is a young, energetic coach who doesn’t mess around with empty coach speak in press conferences. He made his name coaching up some of the most aggressive secondaries in the country between Mizzou and Illinois after existing as one of the most decorated ballhawks in Colorado school history. He also looks like he could still play, and I know for a fact he could beat me up, and somehow I’d apologize to him about it.
Graham Harrell is an expert in the type of offense that made little football dorks in Kennesaw, Georgia take notice of people like Jim Chaney and Mike Leach. I think Purdue fans called it “Basketball On Grass” with Chaney coaching Drew Brees, and we’re all familiar with The Pirate’s true air raid offense at Texas Tech, Wazzu, and Mississippi State.
I trust where this is going. I trust the vision in the leadership on both sides of the ball for Purdue. I think playing in Ross-Ade for an energetic young coaching staff would make a few former top 200 players want to stick around even if they have the option to transfer
4. The main point is to stay Boiler’d Up and enjoy the ride!
I really enjoy having been welcomed by a lot of Purdue fans (who have actual ties to the school) while they know I’m just some guy from down south who graduated from an SEC school.
I even own Purdue clothing now!
Walters is going to be a great head coach. I can see where he wants his defense to be and I can see what Harrell envisions in his offensive scheme. They’ve already gone out and snagged some guys who can make their schemes oops I meant dreams come true.
And I promise this isn’t propaganda. I trust this coaching staff.