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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 4

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 4 17 I had special news for him or something and a couple fans saw it and thought I was ready to commit. Then everybody was all bummed out when they found out that's not what I was talking about. It was one of those things where I didn't realize what I'd put out until after I did it. I was a sophomore, 16 years old." (He did not specify what he was talking about.) Whatever it may have been, the then-sophomore didn't commit, drawing the recruiting process out, building a close bond with Painter and his staff throughout. Mich- igan targeted him in the meantime, and posed a legiti- mate threat, but came and went. It was the weekend of Sept. 13, 2013, when Edwards made his official visit, not knowing, he said, whether he'd commit or not. He also had Vanderbilt in pursuit, near-by Dayton and various others. He played open gym with the current team that morn- ing prior to Purdue's football game vs. Notre Dame. Edwards: "I walked out of the gym and went back to the hotel to get changed for the game, then come back for the student-athlete tailgate. My mom and dad weren't even going to come to the tailgate. They said they'd see me at the game, but I told them they had to be (at the tail- gate). They asked me why and I told them, 'I think I'm going to commit. I think today is the day.'" At that tailgate, with Mathias near- by (on an unofficial visit), Edwards committed to Painter, almost 18 months after that tweet. Painter: "We put in a lot of time, and I think that meant something to him, that I went to see him a lot. That's what I try to do when we prioritize people, to get out there in front of them as much as I can. "I am a firm believer that when you're good enough as a player, you do become what the head coach thinks of you." ISAAC HAAS The center from Hokes Bluff, Ala., officially visited Purdue in August of 2013, but weeks later committed to Wake Forest. He seemed to like Wake's smaller campus and had grown up a big Tim Duncan fan. But, with then-Demon Deacon coach Jeff Bzdelik on the ropes in Winston-Salem, among other consider- ations, Haas withdrew his commitment just prior to the November signing date. Painter: "Any time a kid decommits from somewhere, you've taken them out of your thoughts." Haas never took Purdue out of his, though. He'd al- ways been drawn to its academics and, he once said, Charles Jischke / Purdue Athletics Vincent Edwards took his time finally deciding on Purdue after numerous offers making some impatient fans on Twitter a bit anxious in the process. Brian Neubert

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