Recruiting Roundup: The top targets

In the first edition of a weekly series, Boiler Sports Report goes in-depth in Purdue's football recruiting efforts. In this notebook, a look at some of Purdue's top recruiting targets, some new offers out, and much more.

It all starts with one

The wait for Purdue's first football commitment is over; Dallas receiver Trae Hart is the Boilermakers' first verbal pledge for their 2014 recruiting class. Purdue offensive coordinator John Shoop spotted Hart while watching Dallas Baptist (TX) Academy in action. An offer came after the workout and Hart committed on the spot.

There's reason to be concerned about Hart's commitment, though. In an interview with this week, the receiver admitted he'll listen to other school if interest is shown. Anytime a prospect gives such a quick commitment, it's natural to worry whether it's a spur-of-the-moment decision. Hart is still pledged to the Boilermakers, but the wait until National Signing Day may feel like a long one.

Purdue identifies its top quarterback target

Could it just be a crazy coincidence, or a twist of fate? It was Drew Brees who extended the Elite 11 camp invitation to quarterback David Blough. The NFL superstar and Purdue great even admitted in a tweet that he has so many similarities with Blough, the three-star quarterback prospect from Carrolton (TX) High School. Just two days later, Blough received his first scholarship offer, coming from Purdue.

There's a lot to like about Blough's game, and John Shoop was obviously impressed. The next step is to get Blough on campus, which he intends to do in the coming weeks. That may be what it takes for him to give a verbal commitment.

Boilers making Dixon a priority

Coach Marcus Freeman was busy on the west coast last week, meeting with dozens of recruits. During those travels, Freeman and Purdue made it known to four-star tight end Bryce Dixon that he is a priority prospect.

Purdue lost out on several of its top tight ends targets—the Darryl Long pick of Kentucky over Purdue being the biggest hit—but Dixon appears to be the next man up. The Los Angeles native is showing genuine excitement about the Boilermakers, and Freeman has his program in good position.

McLaurin breaks out in Chicago

Purdue feels it's looking at a breakout star in Indinaapolis receiver Terry McLaurin. This past weekend at NFTC-Chicago, he broke out, and that may be bad news for the Boilermakers. McLaurin won MVP honors at the camp—one loaded with top talent—and that could lead to a more cluttered recruitment.

Purdue and Missouri have been two of the favorites for McLaurin, but Cincinnati and Iowa have recently jumped into the mix. There likely will be more to come.

Extra points

-- Purdue was in Carrboro, North Carolina on Thursday to visit with running back Trai Sharp, one of the Boilermakers' priority prospects at the position.

-- Running back Robert Martin spoke about his new offer from Purdue: "They have a new staff and they're not just offering a lot of people. They really have to see what type of person (they are offering), and they really want to have a strong program that has good character and leaders."

-- The Boilermakers offered Jacksonville (Fla.) offensive lineman Josh Allen early this week. He likely projects as a guard in the college game.

-- Junior outside linebacker Chris Frey is hoping to work Purdue into his camp schedule, where he aims to earn an offer.

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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