Here we go into the final week of this open-recruiting period, and Purdue coach Darrell Hazell is taking advantage of his time on the road. This week, the head man has visited with the Boilermakers' verbal commitments in the Midwest.
The key stop along this trip was seeing soft verbal commit Denzel Ward, who is also entertaining interest from South Florida and Syracuse. For Ward, the relationships with Purdue's coaches have mattered a great deal, so receiving a visit from Hazell is essential.
Hazell also plans to make another important stop, though this one not with a Purdue commit. Pittsburgh pledge Avonte Maddox is one the Boilermakers feel they can swing, so Hazell is set to visit Detroit this week and work to make Maddox a Boilermaker.
Shoop, Bridge working the west coast
One of the keys for Purdue's 2014 recruiting class is to lock down instant impact players, specifically on the offensive line. For this, offensive coordinator John Shoop and offensive line coach Jim Bridge traveled to California in hopes of closing in on a pair of junior college prospects.
A.J. Allen and Miguel Machado, a pair of JUCO tackle prospects, are among the top targets for Purdue. Machado, currently enrolled at Pasadena Junior College, has more than 20 offers on the table. Allen, who plays at Grossmont College, holds seven offers. It will be important for the two to meet with the play-caller and line coach to get a better grasp for what their roles would be.
Harris is one to watch
While the focus for Purdue is finishing out strong with its 2014 recruiting, that doesn't mean 2015 isn't a priority, too. The Boilermakers have begun the process of identifying prospects for the next class, and one to watch is three-star tight end prospect Jackson Harris of Columbia Central (TN) High School.
Purdue tight ends coach Gerad Parker is expected to meet with the Tennessee tight end this week, hoping to develop an interest from the rising prospect. Harris stands at 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds, the ideal frame for a Big Ten tight end. He started his first varsity game as a freshman and already has accumulated eight scholarship offers. Don't be surprised if Purdue makes it nine.
How many more?
Purdue's class stands at 14—or, 13 if you don't count soft verbal Denzel Ward—so how many more will be coming aboard? This is a question for Darrell Hazell to decide.
It's likely that the Boilermakers' class will cap at 20 or 21, depending on how needs are filled. The priority positions to fill include running back, offensive line, defensive line, linebacker and safety. As Purdue nears the finish line for this class, the focus will turn to ensuring position needs are in order.
Purdue's recruiting efforts are heating up, with important developments in the 2014 class. Stay with Boiler Sports Report for the latest news.