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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 6

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 6 64 personnel. Purdue started the 2019 recruiting cycle strong. And while continued progress on the field is proba- bly a must, it seems positioned to close even stron- ger. "(Recruits) think it's a new Purdue, and it is, and they can see evidence of it with how our guys play on the field," said JaMarcus Shephard, Purdue's wide receivers coach, co-offensive coordinator and offensive recruiting coordinator. "They're playing hard, fast and smart, and going forward, that's what their expectation is going to be for Purdue." j NOW WHAT? After an extraordinary run of summer commitments, Purdue can gear its efforts mostly toward a few remain- ing key targets and positions that didn't fall into place early, though obviously the Boilermakers' commitment list could shift over time. Some of the emphases from here on out: Wide Receiver: Purdue has one committed, but is a prime player for Indiana's No. 1 recruit, David Bell from Warren Central, a blue-chipper from Tennes- see in T.J. Sheffield and two of Kentucky's best in Wan- dale Robinson and Milton Wright. Bell, Robinson and Wright are four-star prospects. Bell may be focused on Purdue and Ohio State, with Iowa, Penn State and Indiana rounding out his top five. Robinson officially visited Purdue in June and Michi- gan later in the month. In between, he made unofficials to Ohio State and Alabama. The lightning-fast receiver holds offers from all of them. Wright, too, is working from a list that includes Pur- due, Ohio State and Alabama, as well as Louisville and Kentucky. Sheffield listed Purdue along with Ohio State, Notre Dame and Arkansas. Defensive Line: The Boilermaker staff is off to a fine start with a commitment from one of the nation's best at his position in George Karlaftis, as well as highly recruited Ohio pass-rusher Dontay Hunter and versatile Texan Sulaiman Kpaka. But two big ones remain uncommitted. Louisville four-star D-end/stand-up pass-rusher J.J. Weaver officially visited in June, and Purdue may be the front-runner over Louisville, Kentucky, Georgia and many others. Also, defensive tackle Isaiah Gibson officially visited in June, too, and Purdue remains squarely in the mix, as do Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kentucky and a bunch of others. Safety: Purdue needs another one to go along with blue-chipper Marvin Grant and leads for the player it wants: Michigan's Jalen Graham. Purdue has recruited the two Detroit DBs — Graham goes to Cass Tech, Grant to Martin Luther King — as a tandem. Graham's also looking at Minnesota, Pitts- burgh, Iowa State and others, but has visited West La- fayette three times already. Linebacker: The Boilermaker coaching staff needs a robust group of signees at linebacker, a position where it's currently thin. Texas native Zach Zimos and Northwest Indiana's Cameron Williams — both Rivals. com four-star prospects — are two of the remaining tar- gets. — Brian Neubert

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