12/5/20 Nebraska, Derrick Barnes

Senior linebacker Derrick Barnes runs after Nebraska’s quarterback Luke McCaffrey. Barnes declared for the draft shortly after the Boilers’ season ended.

Purdue finished Early Signing Day with the nation’s 70th ranked recruiting class — one that includes 14 freshman signees and four transfers — according to 247Sports.

The Boilers ended the day with an average recruiting ranking of 0.8514, according to the 247Sports composite ranking.

“I want to thank our coaches and recruiting staff for their efforts in making this class a reality, and I especially want to thank all of our recruits and their families for their patience and flexibility as we all had to adapt and adjust to the challenges that have been facing us all,” head football coach Jeff Brohm said in the same statement. “We look forward to this group arriving on campus and can’t wait to get to work.”

Among the recent transfers into Purdue football is sophomore defensive end Joseph Anderson.

Anderson, a former four-star defensive end from the University of South Carolina, was one of the highest ranked recruits in the Gamecocks’ 2019 recruiting class, one that ranked 21st in the country, according to 247Sports.

He finished his career at South Carolina with four total tackles, gaining a career high two assisted tackles against the University of Kentucky.

Anderson becomes the newest and highest rated transfer of the four players to enter the program since running back Dylan Downing committed to Purdue on Nov. 17.

Downing and Anderson will join new transfers graduate offensive lineman Tyler Witt from Western Kentucky University and freshman linebacker Octavius Brothers from Auburn University. The four will succeed key Purdue players who have entered the draft while fitting into a new defensive coaching staff.

As of Wednesday, four seniors have declared they would return to the program using their extra year of eligibility, including defensive tackle Anthony Watts, who has played 38 total games for the Boilers.

Senior tackle Lorenzo Neal, who is projected to be a mid-round draft pick, has declared for the draft and will not be returning to Purdue. He joins seniors offensive lineman Grant Hermanns, cornerback Simeon Smiley and linebacker Derrick Barnes as seniors declaring for the draft.

As of National Signing Day, Purdue has had four players enter their names into the transfer portal, including freshman running back Tirek Murphy, a former four-star recruit from Middle Village, New York.

Senior corner Geovonte Howard initially entered the transfer portal on Dec. 14, but decided to return to the program on Jan. 12.

Freshman walk-on receiver Grant Summers is the newest player to enter the transfer portal, becoming the sixth player to enter the portal and consider other programs.

The Atlanta native and IMG attendee will be the third receiver to enter his name in the transfer portal after the announcements from senior receiver Jared Sparks and sophomore receiver Amad Anderson Jr.

Anderson, who had entered his name into the portal on Dec. 3, had announced his intent to transfer to Temple University on Dec. 15. Anderson will become Temple’s eighth confirmed transfer into the program.

Despite the many changes and loss of key players, Purdue will start next season with 17 returning projected starters, nine on offense and eight on defense. This matches the amount of returning starters from the 2019 season, according to 247sports.com.

Recommended for you