Wednesday was the first day high school athletes from around the nation could sign their national letters of intent, the first binding document to playing at the collegiate level. Many Purdue teams added to their 2016 rosters.
The men’s basketball team picked up just one recruit, guard Carsen Edwards from Humble, Texas. Carsen has played multiple backcourt spots during his time at Atascocita High School, but the Boilers will likely utilize the six-foot guard at the point.
Purdue head coach Matt Painter is impressed with Carsen’s ability to score when the ball is in his hands.
“We feel in each of the last four years that we have gotten a dead-eye shooter in each class with the addition of Carsen,” Painter said in a Purdue press release. “He gives us something that we haven’t had in a while, and that is a scoring point guard.”
Carsen’s high school coach, David Martinez, has thought Purdue would be a good fit for his standout player since Edwards committed verbally over the summer.
“Carsen’s a pretty dynamic player. He’s a four-year varsity player here at high school. He was the player of the year in Houston last (season) as a junior, which is pretty impressive in a big city,” said Martinez after Edwards’ verbal commitment. “He brings a lot of experience; he’s a big-time gamer. He’s not afraid of the moment. There were a lot of (schools) recruiting him, and I think Purdue got a good one in him.”
The women’s basketball squad adds three to its 2016 roster. Miracle Gray, Ae’Rianna Harris and Dominique Oden signed their letters, and head coach Sharon Versyp is excited about what the group brings to the roster.
“These three are fantastic basketball players, with great minds for the game, but even more important are the type of people they are,” said Versyp in a press release. “When you have great people, who are also great basketball players, special things can happen. That’s what we have in mind for this group.”
Harris was ranked No. 20 in the class by ESPN’s Hoopgurlz and could become an asset for the Boilers’ post game, especially on the defensive end of the floor.
Gray’s sister Nadine Morgan is an assistant coach with the Boilers and her other sister, Angel Gray, played collegiate basketball with Florida State before taking a job as an analyst for Fox Sports 1.
Oden averaged nearly a double-double per game as a junior at the same high school as former Purdue great Drey Mingo.
Head volleyball coach Dave Shondell builds on back-to-back top recruiting classes, bringing in the No. 7 ranked class by PrepVolleyball last season and signing four top-50 recruits the season before, with three additions to the 2016 roster.
The Boilers signed Lexi Dorn of San Diego, Natalie Haben of Edina, Minnesota and Olivia Van Zelst of Glenview, Illinois.
Shondell is excited about the potential each of these players brings.
“(Dorn) visited four other Big Ten Schools and just fell in love with Purdue,” Shondell said. “And (she) came to me and said ‘I want to come to Purdue.’”
Shondell explained to Dorn that he might not have the opportunity to offer her a full scholarship, but she decided she wanted to come to Purdue either way. Shondell said Dorn’s ability to play the setter position “above the net” is important for the Boilers and that could make her an asset going forward.
Shondell described Haben as “one of the best ball-control players in the country.” She was ranked in the top 50 in her class by PrepVolleyball, which Shondell notes is an impressive feat for a libero, as front-line players often dominate those lists.
Shondell and his staff have been watching Van Zelst since she started attending Purdue camps before her high school career.
“A lot of schools offered her really good offers, but she wanted to come to Purdue. She wanted to be a Boilermaker,” Shondell said of Van Zelst.
The early signing period for basketball and all other sports except football and soccer continues through Nov. 18 and the regular signing period opens up in April.