National Signing Day, February 4th (otherwise known as pretend to work while fiendishly hitting refresh on your phone day) is rapidly approaching, and Purdue's 2015 recruiting class has seen more turnover(s) than the Hoosier's committed in Mackey (I've waiting for Basil to steal a decommitment and ruthlessly dunk him). ThelegendofShawnMcCarthy is here to let you know who is already on campus, and who has given Darrell Hazel a pinky promise to sign on Wednesday .
Disclaimer: I'm just going to use the 247 rankings for players. I'm using the star ranking and their numerical ranking. I am fully aware that there are other recruiting sites, I'm just not using them for this article.
Who is already here:
Markell Jones (RB: 3* - 85): Markell Jones is a kid Purdue absolutely had to sign. If Hazell still wants the power running game to be the calling card for the program, he picked up a potential lead back in Markell Jones. As we all know, Jones put up stupidly absurd numbers his senior season on route to breaking the Indiana single season record for rushing yards. We all also know that Jones put up his impossible numbers against some impossibly bad competition. I think Markell will be an excellent back for Purdue. He has the size, strength, speed, and vision to be a lead back in the Big 10, but I also think it's going to be a tough transition from being hands down the best athlete on the field, to being just another athlete on the field. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts to not being able to out run around or run over everyone else on the field.
Anthony Mahoungou (WR: 3* - 83): The Flying Frenchman (feel free to recommend other nicknames, this one is just a placeholder) came out of no where to sign with Purdue from West Hills College in California (Juco). Mahoungou is a 6'4, 200 pound wide receiver, the likes of which Purdue hasn't seen since Greg Orton was balling out for the Boilers (I realize there have probably been others, but he's the last one I remember). Mahougnou is relatively new to football because his home country considers the the other football (you know, the communist kind) to be "real" football. I won't hold that against Mahoungou because all of the other receivers on the roster have supposedly been playing football their entire lives and it hasn't seemed to help much. Mahoungou was signed to come in and play. Let's hope he can.
Elijah Sindelar (QB: 3* - 85): Elijah proved his loyalty to all things Boilermaker by blowing out ACL in his final high school game. Before his ill fated QB run, he was lighting up the competition in Kentucky on his way to breaking Tim Couch's all time career touchdown record. Sindelar has all of the physical tools to be the pro-style quarterback Darell Hazell needs to run his system. Sindelar will spend his freshman year rehabbing his knee and learning the playbook. It would have been interesting to see if he would have made a move in fall camp if he wasn't injured, however, having a year to learn the "system" (whatever system that might be) isn't a bad thing. I just wish he could have learned while having all of his knee ligaments intact.
Ben Makowski (LS: 2* - 70): Don't let Makowski's ranking fool you, he will be an impact player the moment he steps onto campus. Purdue is quickly becoming "the cradle of snappers" and Makowski looks to keep the tradition alive. If given only one word to describe Makowski's snapping, I would refuse, because their are no words to describe this level of perfection. Maybe such a word exists on some far advanced alien planet, but on this world, none such word has ever been uttered. Purdue brought Ben in to snap from day 1, and snap he will.
Michael Mendez (OL: from parts unknown): Who is Michael Mendez? Apparently he is an athletic 6'4 285 offensive line prospect from wayyyyyy south Texas. I think he might be from the advanced alien planet I mentioned in Ben Makowski's section. I mean, athletic 6'4 285 pound offensive linemen from Texas don't just appear from thin air, do they? I think this needs to be investigated further, but until said investigation occurs, Mendez is most likely looking at a redshirt year to bulk up a little. However, if he is an alien and does have super strength he could make an impact from day 1. Only time will tell.
Who is Coming (probably):
Matt McCann (OL: 3* - 88): Matt McCann is another kid Purdue needed to sign from the state of Indiana. He is a mammoth right tackle prospect (6'6 - 305) who plays with a mean streak. Matt's only issue is that he has never had to pass protect. His high school team ran the ball, ran the ball, and then, if that didn't work, they ran the ball some more. McCann has all the physical tools to excel at Purdue, but is going to have to be taught how to pass protect before he can hit the field. I foresee a redshirt for Mr. McCann unless the dreaded injury bug hits Purdue again.
Wyatt Cook (LB: 3*- 88): Purdue hit the road and pulled an excellent middle linebacker out of Maryland. Remember when Purdue seemed to have linebacking talent stacked on top of linebacking talent? Yea, it's been a while, and all of the binge drinking required to watch Purdue football the last few years may have erased those memories, but I researched it, and at one point Purdue was stacked at linebacker. Those glory days of having linebackers who tackle instead of trip ball carriers is on it's way back, and personally, I think Wyatt Cook will be a key player in the revival. Cook won't start, but I think he will play, and may play a significant role by the end of the season.
Markus Bailey (LB: 3*- 82): Markus Bailey did a little bit of everything for his high school team this year. He was his team's best running and their best linebacker. He did a little of both, but would have put up bigger numbers if he had stuck with one or the other. Bailey will get to focus his efforts on the defensive side of the ball at Purdue, and that should help him mature as a player. Purdue has some talent returning at linebacker and Bailey could use a redshirt year to develop, but he is also the type of athlete special teams coaches get excited about. If Bailey can come in at a decent weight, he could avoid the redshirt.
Sawyer Dawson (LB 3* - 86): Purdue coaches reached into the sunshine state and pulled out a talented outside linebacker. Sawyer Dawson is an explosive athlete who likes to get after the quarterback from his linebacker position. Dawson is from the talent rich Tampa area and faced off against some of the nations elite this season. His Tampa Plant team had their struggles, but that was mostly do to an anemic offense. Dawson and his defensive teammates managed to shut down some 5* players this season, but just couldn't get enough support from the offense to win games. Dawson is another kid who could redshirt, but might avoid having to sit because of his situational pass rush ability. His athleticism also makes him an excellent candidate to see early playing time on kick coverage.
Richard Worship (RB/FB: 3*- 84): Simply put, Richard Worship is an unstoppable juggernaut when the ball is in his hands. Worship has the power to run over defenders and the speed to run away from them. 24/7 has him ranked as the 4th best fullback in the nation. The last time I checked, Purdue wanted to install a power run game, but have been limited in personnel (or perhaps limited in their want to hand the ball to Brandon Cottom, the Bryson Scott (pre Painter truce) of the football team). Worship should come in and immediately provide Purdue with the sledgehammer the running game has been missing. No more handing the ball to 5'10, 180 pound back on third and short? I think I can live with that.
Evyn Cooper (S/RB: 3*- 82): Cooper is listed as an athlete, and will get a look at both sides of the ball. However, unless he is head and shoulders better than any other running back in this class (and we have about 72 running backs committed right now), he is going to end up in the secondary. Purdue hasn't seen a big, athletic safety like Cooper since pre double knee explosion Torri Williams. It wouldn't surprise me to see Cooper starting at free safety at some point this season. He comes from Buford High School, the premier high school football program in Georgia, so you figure he has received some top notch coaching along the way. Look for Cooper to make a move sooner rather than later. I'm going to guess immediate playing time was one of the key factors in Cooper picking Purdue over a few S.E.C. schools.
Michael Little (WR/DB: 3* - 83): Say what you will about Purdue recruiting, but the coaches were flying all over the nation to find new Boilermakers. Michael Little is from Sherman Oaks, California. Sherman Oaks is right off of Ventura Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. I'm thinking Michael may need to purchase a new wardrobe before heading to West Lafayette, Indiana. Michael, I'm going to give you some advice, layers are your friend. Little is another guy who will get a look on both sides of the ball. I'm not sure if Purdue needs a tall DB (Little is 6'1) or a tallish wide receiver. If I was making the call, Little would join Cooper and a couple other new Boilermakers in the defensive backfield, but I'm not making the call, and it's not liked Purdue is stacked at wide receiver. Either way, Cooper is going to fill a need, it's just a question of which need.
Tario Fuller (RB: 3* - 85): Do not sleep on Tario Fuller. He is my favorite back in the 2015 recruiting class. He's from the same hometown as Evyn Cooper, but played for Lanier (I believe Burford High School split recently). Fuller helped lead Lanier to an undefeated regular season in one of the tougher regions in Georgia. Fuller was doing work against some solid defenses with D-1 talent. Fuller comes to work and gets the job done. He's going to be the guy that keeps Evyn Cooper on defense.
Larry Wells (OL: 3* - 88): Larry Wells is a monster right now (6'8, 300) and he is going to be an even bigger monster by the time Purdue needs him to contribute. Guys, I really think Hazell is serious about this power running thing. If you're looking for enormous, mauling offensive tackles, look no further than Larry Wells and Matt McCann. It will be interesting to see if Wells can develop enough footwork to play left tackle, because he has prototypical NFL type size. If nothing else, Purdue is going to look tougher getting off the bus this year. I hope that Wells is able to redshirt and really work on his footwork and body composition this year, but if he has to play, he certainly has the size.
Eddy Wilson (DE/DT: 3* - 84): Wilson was a big pick up for the Boilermakers on the defensive side of the ball. He's another kid that could play multiple positions. At 6'4 265, he comes in with the size to play SDE right now, but at 6'4 265 he could also hit the weight room and work his way into an athletic DT. It's up to the defensive coaching staff to decide if Wilson has more potential as a run stuffing end or a pass rushing tackle. Again, he's another versatile player with a high upside. Another solid pick up for Purdue late in the recruiting game.
Tim Faison (OLB/DE: 3*- 81): Faison is another player that comes in with a solid high school pedigree. He played his high school ball at Amos P. Godby in Tallahassee, Florida. Godby is a perennial contender in football crazy Florida. Faison is a good football player, but he is a tweener, which may be one of the reasons Purdue was able to make a move on him. Faison was a defensive end in high school, but may fit better as an outside linebacker in college. Then again, if Faison can put on some weight (he is listed at around 200) he could be another pass rushing option for the Boilermakers at WDE. Purdue again leaves its options open with Faison, and all they know for sure is that they are getting a great athlete and a great football player. At the very least, Faison will be a killer on special teams.
Andy Chelf (S: 2* - 78): Stop me if you've heard this one before, Andy Chelf comes from one of the top high school football programs in Texas, and therefore, the nation. Chelf is a football player. He doesn't have the best measurables (although he was athletic enough to return kicks for Southlake Carroll last year) but he makes plays all over the field. Chelf led a Southlake Defense littered with top talent in tackles from his safety spot. Chelf has a nose for the ball, and when he finds it, he brings the pain. Andy is recovering from an ACL (gasp, shock, surprise) and will undoubtedly redshirt this season, but Purdue could have a nice safety tandem for the future in Cooper and Chelf.
Brycen Hopkins (TE: 2* - 79): Close your eyes and picture an athletic tight end. Wait, no, stop that....anyway, if you were focused on football you would have pictured Brycen Hopkins. Hopkins is transitioning from basketball to football, and I understand some guys have done fairly well recently at making that switch. Hopkins is an athletic 6'5 specimen who can go and get the ball. He's not a polished football player yet, and I'm not sure if he can actually block anyone, but at worst, he's going to be a killer red zone threat. If he can develop into a complete football player, Purdue may have signed an elite tight end. Like most of the players in this class, it's going to take a little time for Hopkins to mature as a player, but I expect to see him on the field this year because of the lack of bodies at the tight end position. I'm hoping to see the "go up and catch it" play that Seattle ran so well in the Super Bowl perfected by Hopkins.
David Rose (CB: 2* - 79): Purdue is trying to get bigger at the defensive back position. If Little end up on defense, Purdue would have 2 DB's in this class at or about 6'0 tall. Of course, just being tall doesn't really matter. I'm 6'3 but you probably don't want me playing cornerback for your team. That being said, if Rose can bring enough athleticism to the table, he should be able to capitalize on his height. Receivers continue to get bigger, and it looks like Purdue is now trying to find defensive backs to cover that trend. Rose will have his chances to contribute if he has a solid camp, but it's probably going to be another year at least before you see Rose on the field.
Peyton Truitt (OL: 2* - 77): Purdue didn't have to travel far to land West Lafayette's Peyton Truitt. It's rumored the Darrell Hazell did most of Truitt's recruiting on two soup cans tied together with a string that runs from Truitt's window to Hazell's. You can see what Purdue likes int Truitt. He's a big kid (6'5, 280) with plenty of room on his frame to continue to grow. Purdue has a solid track record (or at least they did) of turning guys like Truitt into solid football players. Truitt will redshirt, and you probably won't see him for a few years, but that's the way it is supposed to be with offensive linemen.
Chazmyn Turner (DE: 3* - 83): Purdue headed down to the tarheel state, and came back with the commitment of SDE Chazmyn Turner. Turner's stock is on the rise after the put in a solid showing in the Shrine Bowl, which features the best high school football players for North and South Carolina. In Shrine Bowl practice, Turner showed the ability to both rush the passer and set a hard edge in the run game. Turner is still raw, but is a big guy (6'5, 240) with good athleticism. He'll look very similar to Anthony Spencer in terms of size. Hopefully he will look somewhat similar to Spencer in terms of production. That's setting the bar incredibly high, and honestly, probably out of reach, but Turner has some of the physical characteristics that made Spencer a dominant player.
Joe Schopper (P: 2* - 70): Purdue needed a punter and Schopper needed a team to punt for in college, so they decided to get together. Joe fills a huge need in Purdue's recruiting class will get to spend a year honing his craft and watching Thomas Meadows before venturing out onto the field. Hopefully, Schopper doesn't get the same amount of in game practice as Meadows. Joe has a decent, but not huge, leg and excels at knocking the ball inside the 20. He's a solid pickup for the Boilermakers.
Jess Trussell (TE: 2* - 77): Purdue was in desperate need at tight end, and managed to land Lone Star State stud Jess Trussell late in the recruiting game. Trussell is another player with excellent size, coming in at around 6'5, 230. Purdue appears to have placed a premium on tall tight ends in this recruiting class, and landed two guys in Hopkins and Trussell that fit the bill. Trussell is probably a guy that could use some extra time to adjust to the college game, but no such time may be available. Look for Trussell to be thrown into the fire early because Purdue is desperately short on tight ends.
Shayne Henley (DE: 2* - 78): Defensive end was an area of need in this class, and Purdue ventured into the California JuCo scene to land a Henley. Henley is going to need to hit the ground running at Purdue, and will be given every chance to make an early impact with the Boilermakers. He has good size (6'4, 245) and two years of JuCo experience. You don't bring in JuCo players to sit the bench, so I expect Henley to have every opportunity to earn playing time this season. If Henley can come in and contribute early Purdue may have the opportunity to redshirt one of their defensive ends (Turner comes to mind) in this class. That would be good news in terms of player development, so hopefully Shayne comes in ready to play.
Fred Brown (DT: 2* - 76): Brown is the latest, but hopefully not last, addition to Purdue's 2015 recruiting class. Much like Eddy Wilson, Purdue is going to have to decide if Brown is a big defensive end (6'2, 255) or a developmental defensive tackle. At 6'2, I see Brown as more of a tackle prospect. Brown has a solid motor and is good at finding the running back and getting him on the ground with much prejudice. Brown is a long term investment guy that you probably won't see for a few years. However, it's always nice to have a couple of athletic defensive tackles developing on your roster.
Domonique Young (WR: - NR): It's no secret that Purdue really struggled at wide receiver this year, and needed to find some instant impact guys to come in and help. Young is the second JuCo wide receiver (along with Anthony Mahoungou) that Purdue is bringing in to play right now. Young brings the size (6'4, 200) and big play ability that the Boilermakers sorely lacked this season. Young will have every opportunity to play and play early. Expect to see some new faces lining up on the outside at the start of next season.