It took a little time, but Purdue is beginning to see its recruiting class form. Trae Hart and Gregory Phillips started it off, but the Boilermakers made a splash this past weekend when Kirk Barron and David Blough committed in consecutive days. Now, Purdue can only hope it has some momentum brewing.
Hart and Phillips have the potential to make an impact, but will be projects early on. With Barron and Blough, Purdue got its guys. While the two faced difference circumstances to land their offers, both became priorities for Purdue. The class still ranks toward the bottom of the Big Ten and features just four commits, but the Boilermakers can hope they have some mojo going. Hey, it's a start.
Now, we look ahead. The wait for David Blough is over, but there are other prizes to be claimed. All eyes turn to names like Terry McLaurin, Gelen Robinson and Denzel Ward, each who could make their verbal commitments in the coming weeks. Purdue has hosted each of the three on campus in the month of June and has a shot at landing of them.
Purdue got in on McLaurin early, and now the three-star receiver has seen his recruitment escalate. Still, the Boilermakers have decent odds at the Indianapolis native. Gelen Robinson, the standout defensive end and Purdue legacy (his father is former Boilermaker basketball great Glenn Robinson) is likely a Boiler lean. Denzel Ward could be the biggest get, though. His four favorites are Florida, Ohio State, Oklahoma and—drum roll, please—Purdue. The monster tackle is impressive.
Tranquill offered; stock rising
For a while, Drue Tranquill was a sleeper prospect. It's safe to say he's awake, now. Last week, Tranquill impressed at Purdue by running a 4.49 40-yard dash time—not bad for a big linebacker. As a result of his strong play and impressive film, he was elevated to a four-star prospect on Thursday.
Tranquill has had a good week overall. On Wednesday morning, Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell called and extended an offer. Finally, his patience paid off.
"It was really exciting," Tranquill said of the offer. "I had my dad and brother sitting there. We were jumping for joy. It's a great accomplishment. I've been waiting for that offer for a while, so it was a relief and excitement to get it."
The more the merrier?
Sure, Purdue has the "Cradle of Quarterbacks" tradition, but should the Boilermakers load the cradle to capacity? David Blough will have to compete with current freshman Danny Etling throughout his Purdue career—that after Etling fights for the job this summer. Would Purdue be wise to add another quarterback for its 2014 class?
Purdue has only one other quarterback offer out; three-star prospect Trace McSorley remains on the Boilermakers' radar, and has them in his list of six favorites. If he wanted to join the class, Purdue couldn't really say no, not to a talented athlete like this. However, it's very likely that the door has been shut and there will be just one quarterback joining the program with this group.
Just kickin' it
Purdue great Joe Tiller has famously mocked kickers through his coaching career, and especially now into retirement. That being said, I hope he doesn't read this blurb. Purdue is committed to offering a specialist—likely a kicker/punter combo player. The Boilermakers were working to land Ohio native Mike Knoll, but he took Boston College up on its offer. At this point, no new specialist offers have been made.