Hart at home with Purdue

Receiver Trae Hart is eager to become a Boilermaker, officially signing his letter of intent on Wednesday.

Trae Hart was the first to join Purdue's 2014 recruiting class, quickly becoming sold on an early offer. But after the May commitment, the receiver did have some second thoughts.

Before taking an official visit in West Lafayette, the Dallas native was a bit worried about the distance from family and friends. However, Hart would find that Purdue is his home away from home.

"There were just great people, great everything," Hart said. "That's why I fell in love with it. I've been happy ever since."

Hart gave the Boilermakers his verbal commitment in early May, that following a visit from Purdue offensive coordinator John Shoop. The original plan was for Shoop to watch one of Hart's teammates, but he was quickly drawn to the speedy receiver.

A scholarship offer quickly followed from Shoop, and a relationship was formed. On the same day of the offer, Hart gave the Boilermakers his verbal commitment.

Shoop spoke highly of head coach Darrell Hazell and Hart's promise in the Purdue program. The receiver was sold.

"He just said [Hazell] is a great man, and that I can become the man that I wanted to be, the player that I wanted to be," said Hart of his meeting with Shoop. "I just felt really good about it."

Hart will make his decision official on Wednesday when he signs the letter of intent on National Signing Day. It's a day that he has long been waiting for.

"It's all good to be the first in this great class," said Hart. "I was very excited about it and I'm still very excited about it. I'm just happy to be a Purdue Boilermaker."

A 5-foot-11, 155-pound receiver, Hart is a speedster—one of the reasons Shoop was immediately drawn to him. He'll need to bulk up a bit to play at the Big Ten level, but the potential for early playing time is there.

"They want me to come in and work for starting position," Hart said. "I think I have a really good chance to come in and start, but I've got to work, practice right and do everything right. I think they're expecting a lot of me and I expect a lot of myself. I'm very excited."

Even despite the Boilermakers' struggles in 2013, there was no wavering from this decision. Hart is on board with the Purdue program and is optimistic about what the future holds.

"I'm going to a great school, great academics, and a football team that is going to prove a lot of doubters wrong," he said. "I think it's a bomb just ticking, waiting to explode."

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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