Friday, June 21, 2013
Purdue, Indiana score recruiting wins
By Brian Bennett
It's not often that the Big Ten's two Indiana schools beat out some of college football's marquee programs for recruits. Heck, in our future power rankings for the league earlier today, we mentioned the difficulty of recruiting there as one reason we ranked Purdue No. 11 (a spot ahead of Indiana).
But each program has scored a nice recruiting coup in the past 24 hours, both of which are notable for the teams they were battling.
The Boilermakers received a commitment on Friday from offensive tackle Denzel Ward, who's quite literally a big recruit. The Chicago native measures in at 6-foot-8 and 305 pounds and is rated as a three-star prospect by ESPN.com. Ward's list of final four schools included Florida, Oklahoma and Ohio State, and he was committed to Michigan earlier this year.
Coaches aren't allowed to comment on prospects until they sign, of course, but it didn't take a whole lot of mind reading to figure out whom Purdue assistant Gerad Parker was thinking about when he tweeted this today: "Purdue football got a big one today! Let's keep the train movin!"
Ward is Purdue's third commitment this month and sixth overall in the class of 2014.
Indiana was also celebrating this morning, as Florida offensive tackle Delroy Baker committed to the Hoosiers. The 6-foot-6, 259-pounder picked IU over Florida and also had scholarship offers from Florida State, Miami and Missouri
"I chose Indiana because after the first hour of being there, I felt like this is where I belong," Baker told 247Sports.com. "It's just my gut feeling, and thankfully, everything else fell into place."
Indiana entered the month of June with no commitments for 2014 but has now picked up five in the past 19 days.
So what's more remarkable? That Purdue and Indiana each beat out top-tier programs for an offensive tackle, or that they both did it on the same day?