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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 27, Digital 1

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Page 42 of 78

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 27, ISSUE 1 43 BY BRIAN NEUBERT T hough this is a year in which Purdue may have to overcome some challenges in recruiting, early returns have been positive, as the Boilermaker staff takes an almost unprecedent- ed number of early verbal commit- ments into the fall. As of the end of August, Purdue held 13 non-binding commitments, one of the largest early hauls in program history. Obviously, recruiting, as they say, is the proverbial marathon as opposed to a sprint, and so no points are awarded for early com- mitments. And no one in college football knows better than Purdue that commitments can come and go — it was stung by 15 decommitments in the three classes prior to this one — but nevertheless, it has to be pleased with what it has in place at this time. Though the results on the field haven't been near what's been hoped, Purdue has been able to convince its early targets that bet- ter days lie ahead. "Their attitude's changed," said wide receiver commitment C.J. Hayes, one of the headliners of the class to this point. "Their attitude has changed from last year. Now it's time to just play, to go out and win some games. "They have a lot of things to im- prove on and I think they'll do it." Running back commitment Ant- wuan Branch of Clarksville, Tenn., said he's been struck by how the Boilermaker staff has conveyed self-assurance in the face of its cir- cumstances. "I lot of people ask me, 'Why Pur- due? They're not a winning team,'" Branch said. "But the confidence that they have, they have the confi- dence of a winning team and that's what you have to have." Solid Foundation Purdue's 13 early commitments represent good start PRESENTS: FOOTBALL RECRUITING Brian Neubert Kentucky's C.J. Hayes is one of three early commitments for Purdue at wide re- ceiver, where it will need immediate help in 2017. PURDUE COMMITMENTS Player Pos Ht Wt Hometown/School Griffin Alstott QB 6-2 195 St. Petersburg, Fla./Northside Christian Antwuan Branch RB 6-0 200 Clarksville, Tenn./Kenwood Brevin Harris WR 6-5 180 Creston, Ohio/Norwayne C.J. Hayes WR 6-2 195 Bowling Green, Ky./South Warren Rob Hudson OL 6-8 320 Walled Lake, Mich./Western Marcus Jones CB 5-9 170 Enterprise, Ala./Enterprise Dedrick Mackey CB 5-11 175 Miami, Fla./Booker T. Washington Tijaun Mason DE 6-6 220 Memphis, Tenn./Trezevant LaPerion Perry WR 5-8 165 LaGrange, Ga./LaGrange Malcolm Robinson DT 6-2 280 Massillon, Ohio/Washington Nick Sipe QB 6-4 190 Villa Park, Calif./Villa Park Jylton Tusha OL 6-5 305 Jacksonville, Fla./University Christian Mitch West DB 5-10 175 Lombard, Ill./Montini

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