The Purdue football program has the fewest 2013 verbal commitments in the Big Ten with only a few weeks until signing day on Feb. 6.
As of now, Purdue has 14 verbal commitments, which is short of the 25 possible spots normally available per year. This past weekend Purdue hosted a big recruiting weekend that landed them defensive end Antoine Miles and linebacker Dezwan Polk.
Despite the appearance that Purdue is way behind for its 2013 class, two recruiting analysts don’t think it’s time to panic.
“They’ll fill this class,” said 24/7 Sports’ Steve Wiltfong. “There are a number of players chomping at the bit to play in the Big Ten.”
Throughout this whole process, three previous verbals have decomitted from Purdue; the biggest loss being defensive end Randy Gregory, who went to Nebraska.
Part of the reason for the decommitments and the small recruiting class is due to the recent coaching change, said Allen Trieu, midwest football recruiting manager for Scout.com. Hazell first spent time with the verbal commitments – who committed to play for former coach Danny Hope – trying to get them to reaffirm their pledge to West Lafayette.
Now, he is trying to go out a recruit new guys.
Wiltfong said that the front-seven and added playmakers are an area of need for Purdue; Trieu said that they “need a little bit of everything,” but wide receivers, a tight end and the offensive line are positions the Boilers are looking at.
Purdue loses notable wide receiver Antavian Edison, who caught 58 balls for 652 yards this past season, offensive guard Peters Drey and center Rick Schmeig. It also loses a potential first-round draft pick in this year’s NFL Draft, defensive tackle Kawann Short.
The Boilermakers’ 2013 class is highlighted by four-star quarterback Danny Etling from Terre Haute, Ind., who moved up 33 spots in Rivals.com’s latest recruiting update to No. 167 overall in the class and was deemed a “big-time get” by Wiltfong.
Wiltfong said that Etling competed week-in, week-out in one of the best conferences in Indiana on one of the worst teams. This past summer Etling stacked himself up against the best quarterbacks across the country.
“(He) went out to the Elite 11 national competition that he earned an invitation to and proved himself among the best quarterbacks in the nation,” Wiltfong said. “(He) has all the tools to be great.”