Ontko on Purdue's radar

Benet Academy (Ill.) standout Porter Ontko wasn't a Purdue prospect while the former coaching staff was in office. Now, with Darrell Hazell's staff in charge, he's on the Boilermakers' radar.

For Porter Ontko, Purdue wasn't even an option just a few months ago. Now, it's a school he's highly interested in.

The Boilermakers' new coaching staff reached out to Ontko, a standout prospect from Benet (Ill.) Academy, and invited him to West Lafayette for Purdue's Junior Day in February. The experience was different from other campus tours Ontko has participated in.

"They can all be similar, but with Purdue, they were honest," Ontko said. "They talk about the student-athlete academic pressure, the work you have to put into it."

The visit also included a tour of Purdue's facilities, including the locker room and weight room. What stood out the most, though, was when the new coaching staff explained its philosophies. From a broader perspective, the program's vision was attractive for Ontko.

"It's great," Ontko said. "I'm really excited about the way their staff is dealing with everything. They're talking about how they want to bring the program back to the glory days. They have some great facilities and I think they're doing great things at Purdue."

Ontko's lead recruiter to Purdue has been Jafar Williams, the Boilermakers' new running backs coach. He worked to convince Ontko into an appearance at one of Purdue's summer camps.

Seeing where his recruitment could go, Ontko is taking the bull by the horns. He plans to touch base with Williams and build a connection.

"I'd love to build relationships before I go to camp with them, so I can catch an offer," he said.,P> Ontko is a jack of all trades with Benet Academy. He has played roles at running back, wide receiver, linebacker and safety, not to mention his duties with special teams.

Stay with Boiler Sports Report for further updates on Purdue's recruitment of Porter Ontko.

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Northwestern Wildcats, and currently covers the Purdue Boilermakers. A Chicago native, he resides in West Lafayette.
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