Purdue added 4 players to their verbal commit list on Sunday, vaulting them closer to a top-50 class ranking (rivals/247). Most importantly, the Boilermakers fulfilled several spots of need and appear to be wrapping up recruiting altogether for 2015 by bringing in two junior college recruits along with two high school prospects for next season. Coach Hazell promised to bring in a full class that addressed all of their holes, and it appears that he did just that with just one scholarship remaining for the 2015 roster.
Henley is a junior college defensive end recruit from Moorpark Community College in California and has two seasons of eligibility remaining. At 6'4" and 245 pounds, he will be adding depth and experience to a defensive end group that will be very young and unproven next season. If you watch the video below, you'll see that he definitely possesses above average agility and pursuit skills, but he's going to have to improve on his quickness and speed to be able to compete at a high level in the B1G next season. I like this addition because it looks like he's got the knowledge and ability to be a high-caliber player, especially if he ends up bulking up quite a bit before next season. If the coaching staff can develop his speed and decision-making, he could very well end up being a difference maker over the next couple of years.
Here is a video via hudl of him competing this past season:
Michael Little is a 6-foot, 170 pound cornerback prospect out of Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California (a top 10 California High School dynasty program, according to maxpreps). He is a 3-star recruit according to both Rivals and 247. In addition to Purdue, Little also had scholarship offers from San Diego and Idaho. Little will join a Boilermaker secondary that really only has 2 proven starters coming back from this year (Anthony Brown and Frankie Williams). They definitely need help in terms of depth and Michael Little fulfills that need in the long-term. I don't expect him to make much of an impact in 2015, but he definitely has the potential to be high on the depth chart in 2016 and beyond.
As you can see from the video below, Little has very good technique and awareness. His tackling seems to be about average but his agility and awareness in coverage is very good. I'd say his greatest weakness right now is his speed and size/strength. He would be great in zone coverage against slower receivers or small tight ends, but he's going to have to get bigger and stronger to be able to compete at a higher level against B1G receivers. I think his best opportunity to see playing time early on will be against slot receivers, but that might change as he continues to develop.
Enjoy the video from hudl from this past season:
Turner is a 2-star defensive end (according to rivals and 247) from Mooresville Senior High School (Mooresville, NC). In addition to the Boilermakers, Turner also held offers from Virginia, East Carolina, and Appalachian State, among others. As Turner bulks up and gains experience, I believe he will be a key player going forward. He will be a special teams contributor from day one, as you can see from his kick/punt blocking abilities in the video below. Not to be cliché, but this kid has a nose for the ball and finds himself in the right places at the right time. From everything that I've seen and read, this is one of those "diamonds in the rough" players that Hazell needs to keep the momentum going forward. Turner is easily one of my favorite recruits this year and I'm very excited to see him on the field next season.
Here's the hudl highlight of his senior season:
Mahoungou is transferring from West Hills Community College (Coalinga, CA) and also previously played for La Courneuve in Paris, France. He has a reported 40 yard dash time of 4.48, and you can see in the video below that he is very fast and will be a legit deep ball threat. Although I do speak quite a bit of French, I had an extremely difficult time finding out much about him tonight. I tried to google translate some of the articles, but it was pretty sketchy. He was, however, 1st team all-conference this season in California Community College Athletic Association's Golden Coast league with 739 yards and 9 touchdowns in 11 games. This was his first season playing football in America and he is still adjusting to the speed and physicality differences from France.
He has the speed and quickness needed to compete for a spot right away, but I'm afraid that he will hit some speed bumps after making another HUGE stride in his career. Going from high-school level competition in France to community college competition in America is one thing. He hasn't faced anything close to a B1G level defense in his career, and that is going to be a major test. A realistic expectation will be to see how he adapts this coming year in practice. He is going to need a year to adjust, in my opinion, but will end up being a major factor in 2016 and beyond.
The bottom line is that Mahoungou adds height, speed, and depth to what will (still) be a very young and unproven receiver corps next season. He will have 3 seasons left of eligibility after his community college experience this season, and at 6' 4", he will be the tallest Boilermaker catching passes next year. As a mid-year transfer, he will be able to report to campus in January to get a head start with the team.
Here is a video via hudl from this past season (West Hills Community College):