New Purdue pledge Barron: "I had to take it"

Three-star center Kirk Barron became the Boilermakers' third verbal pledge for their 2014 class, committing on Friday night, just moments after being offered. Boiler Sports Report offers a full story and video on Purdue's newest commit.

Kirk Barron came to Purdue's lineman camp last Saturday just to compete with a friend. Then, he never could have envisioned becoming a Boilermaker commit a few days later.

During that first camp, Barron, then committed to Ohio, caught the coaches' eyes and nearly left West Lafayette with an offer. He returned to Mishawaka with a new feeling about Purdue.

"I started getting more of an open mind, and I thought, ‘why not,'" Barron said. "It's such a great school, it's close to home, my family is around here."

Throughout the week, Barron called Purdue assistants John Shoop and Jafar Williams, and his interest continued to grow. He decided to participate in Purdue'S Friday night Elite Camp.

"They just wanted to get an eval of me, and I wanted to come back and see them again," said Barron.

It all paid off. Coach Darrell Hazell was watching Barron's workout closely, and pulled him aside after the camp concluded to extend a scholarship offer. There was one thing to do before saying "Yes" to the offer; he had to call Ohio head coach Frank Solich.

The flip to Purdue had some awkwardness to it, as a member of the Ohio coaching staff served as a volunteer coach at Friday's camp. Barron still feels strongly about the Ohio program but couldn't say no to Purdue.

"Ohio University is a great program, great school, I love everything about it or I wouldn't have committed," Barron said. "I'd say this is a better opportunity for me and my family. I had to take it."

After accepting the offer, Barron and his mother began to tear up. Shortly after, John Shoop leaped into his arms. Barron was welcomed by the rest of the Purdue coaching staff and several players.

Barron, who will play center at Purdue, then practiced snapping the football to quarterback prospect David Blough, one of the Boilermakers' top prospects who may be close to committing.

Purdue now has three pledges to its 2013 class. Barron joins receivers Trae Hart and Gregory Phillips. He's thrilled to be a part of the program that just kept growing on him.

"It feels good," said Barron. "It's an in-state Big Ten school and I get to represent Indiana."

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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