Thursday, February 4, 2010
Purdue recruiting analysis
By ESPN.com staff
Recruits: 25 (23 high school seniors, one junior college player, one 2009 signee)
Top prospects: Wide receiver O.J. Ross from Florida can contribute right away for the pass-happy Boilers. Cornerback Ricardo Allen fills a critical need in the secondary, which loses all four starters and will feature plenty of competition before the season. Defensive tackle Bruce Gaston is a big get for a team that struggles to stop the run.
Sleepers: Allen generated the most recruiting buzz, but Purdue's other defensive backs in this class -- Normando Harris, E.J. Johnson, Antoine Lewis and junior college transfer Michael Eargle -- all could contribute early in the secondary.
Needs met: The secondary is Purdue's most pressing need, and the coaches answered it with five defensive backs. The Boilers also needed defensive line help and got it with Gaston and several others, while Sean Robinson adds another good arm to the mix at quarterback.
Analysis: Danny Hope isn't afraid to wait for good recruits, and his patience once again paid off with several strong pickups in the weeks before signing day. Allen can step in immediately at cornerback, and Robinson and Ross might form a dynamic passing combination several years down the road. Gaston is a huge addition for the defensive line, and Hope addressed areas like tight end and kicker.
Scouts Inc. grade: C
What Danny Hope said:
- (On Bruce Gaston) "One of the most dominant defensive tackles I've been around in many, many years. He'll be one of the great defensive linemen to play at Purdue. When it's all said and done, he could be an iconic player here."
- "We did very well secondary-wise. We didn't have a lot of margin for error. We couldn't go take some little peanut guys even though they could run fast and have to wait two, three years for them to get big enough. ... That wasn't gonna help our needs. So we went out and got good size, good brains, good athleticism, physical guys, guys that want to play early and can come in and compete with the two or three guys we brought in last year."
- "Sean Robinson was our No. 1 quarterback on the board. He's a great dual-threat quarterback, excellent passing potential. You can put him in the shotgun and throw the ball with him every snap and have a chance to win, and you can use him as a ball carrier and as a runner every snap and have a chance to win. ... He's a great get. Star potential for us at Purdue."