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Gold and Black Illustrated Vol28, Digital1

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Page 40 of 74

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1 41 BY BRIAN NEUBERT F or Purdue, this is not nor- mal. And that's a good thing. With the season nearing, it finds itself in an unprecedented situation by its past standards. As of Aug. 22, the Boilermaker coaching staff held 21 verbal com- mitments toward its 2018 class, which will be the first full class assembled under first-year coach Jeff Brohm, leaving, most likely, only a few left to be filled before the winter signing period(s). It's by far the most early commitments Purdue's held at this stage of the process under any of its staffs. It seems like a generation ago that Purdue was the only school in the Power 5 ranks without a verbal commitment. That was the case at the start of June, before 14 players committed during the balance of that month, then seven more in July, bringing the total to 21. In the Big Ten, only noted early-commitment hoarders P.J. Fleck at Minnesota and James Franklin at Penn State have more, with 23 apiece. "We wanted to be patient early and make sure we knew what we were doing," Brohm said, speaking generally about recruiting. "As we got into June and July, that's when things, in our opinion, heat up. You start to get people on campus and see them in camp, get to know them and try to get them on board. We thought we were productive with that." Currently, ranks Purdue's class 39th nationally, a number that is weighted toward volume and very much subject to change. Purdue's onslaught of early commitments closely reflected its most urgent of needs. Brohm has said generally about recruiting that the offensive line is a position he will "over-sign." Given its current state, there's no better time than now, it would seem. Purdue holds commitments from Kentucky's Will Bramel and Ohio's Jimmy McKenna and Eric Miller as projected tackles and Louisville's Charles Allen as a likely interior lineman. It should be noted Purdue has some recruits committed with body types that could jibe with the O-line one day. On the defensive line, Purdue's placed a premi- um on pass-rushers and come up with commitments from defensive ends Connor Parks and Willie Lane WELL STOCKED Purdue heads into fall holding unprecedented early-commitment total PRESENTS: FOOTBALL RECRUITING Andy Silvas Jack Plummer of Gilbert High School in Arizona became the first quarterback to commit to Purdue under first-year coach Jeff Brohm.

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