Purdue Commit Might Check Out OSU

Defensive lineman Kyle Sheehan of Grayson, Ga. decided long ago to commit to Purdue and get an early start by enrolling in college in January. Sheehan still plans to enroll in January, but Purdue may have to sweat it out as Sheehan is thinking of looking at Ohio State. Chris Pool has more on this development.

Kyle Sheehan, the No. 2 defensive tackle prospect in the Midwest according to Scout.com, gave Purdue his verbal commitment last February. The decision to commit to early and to Purdue baffled many in the recruiting world but Sheehan says there's more to his commitment than meets the eye.

"There were a lot of people who couldn't understand why I picked Purdue," Kyle Sheehan said. "There were also a lot of people who wondered why I committed so early.

"After all, I was from Georgia and I played in a football crazy community (Grayson) in the south. The fact is that Purdue recruited me very hard when I was a junior at Grayson. Coach Tiller and the staff at Purdue showed a lot of character and integrity while recruiting me.

"I decided to commit to Purdue for many reasons but one of the main reasons was, and the Purdue coaches didn't even know this, was my grandfather (Terry Sheehan) was a two-time All-American at Purdue."

It was quite a shock for Sheehan when he had to move to a small town (Fairmont) in the state of Minnesota from Grayson, Georgia. After all, football is king in Georgia and hockey is king in Minnesota.

"It was definitely an adjustment for me. Not only the move to Minnesota but just the fact that I couldn't play against the big boys in Minneapolis, had I wanted to play against Matt Carufel and Brandon Hoey. I'm not saying I'm better than those guys because I've seen them play and they are very good but I just want to show everyone that I belonged."

Sheehan, a 6-foot-4, 255-pound athlete, definitely made his presence known at Fairmont High this year.

"We don't get guys like Kyle Sheehan around here very often," said Fairmont coach Troy Cody.

"To say Kyle is special would be an understatement. We're talking about a kid who's 6-foot-4, 255-pounds, squats 500 pounds, benches over 400 and runs a 4.8 40-yard dash.

"We play Kyle anywhere on the defensive line, offensive line and tight end," Coach Cody explained. "Kyle is very intense. He plays at one speed and that speed is fast. It's hard to let Kyle practice because he is at a whole different level than the other kids that I have. Kyle has been taught well. He's technically sound, he's an excellent blocker, he has great hands and he dominates on defense. "Purdue will probably play Kyle at defensive tackle. He runs a legit 4.8 in the 40-yard dash, his ability to use his hands, shed blocks and get to the football are uncanny. In our first game of the year, Kyle had six tackles for loss and a sack on defense and he had three pancake blocks on offense."

Sheehan finished his senior season with incredible numbers and he's opened the door slightly in his recruitment.

"I had 81 tackles, 19 sacks, 11 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles on defense. I also caught 9-of-11 passed for 112 yards and a touchdown as a tight end. What I take pride in is my blocking and I had 60 pancake blocks this year."

We asked Sheehan if his commitment to Purdue is solid?

"I gave my word to Purdue and I would say that I'm solid but Ohio State has now come into the picture. I haven't set up a visit with them yet but that could happen sometime in December.

"Ohio State is recruiting me as a tight end but they also told me that they could see me somewhere on their defensive line. I'm going to weigh my options and make sure that I'm making the right decision.

"My mind is open right now but my heart is wrapped up in Purdue. I was told to never close doors though and I'm going to take a look at Ohio State."

What separates Kyle Sheehan from other blue-chip football players around the country? He's a throw-back type of football player whose toughness will never be challenged.

Those amazing numbers that Sheehan put up this season was done with a torn labrum in his shoulder.

"It was very painful," Sheehan said. "The schools that are recruiting me know that I'm not going to be reluctant. I love the game and if I can walk, I'm playing. I'm going to have a minor scope of the shoulder and both Purdue and Ohio State know about it."

Does Sheehan still plan on graduating early?

"Things are going to move fast the next few months." Sheehan said. "It's going to be very fast paced. If I'm going to visit Ohio State, it's going to need to happen soon. I've already visited Purdue. I want to be enrolled in college in January."

I think it's fairly certain whether he's a Boilermaker or a Buckeye; we'll be hearing plenty from Kyle Sheehan in the next few years.

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