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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 4

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Page 35 of 88

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 4 36 Any time you stand alone at your po- sition in a recruiting class, and Purdue's two classes prior to this one yielded no returning backs either, it stands to reason to project an opportunity to be a front-line player at some point. You never know what opportunities may surface in the short term, but in the long term, when veterans start cycling out of the program, Anderson's wide berth on the depth chart might move him into a position of prominence should he deliver on the potential Purdue saw in him late in the process. This staff has seemed to have an affinity for big, physical running backs and Anderson is that. Height: 6-1 Weight: 200 High School: Collins Hill Hometown: Suwanee, Ga. Senior Stats: 1,207 rushing, 7.3 per attempt, 13 touchdowns L enny Gregory thinks Evan Anderson, his star running back at Collins Hill, was under-recruited. Anderson was a backup in 2016, so he couldn't get much junior film out to the bluebloods in the southeast. And by the time Anderson was the starter as a senior — Gregory, who just finished his first season at Collins Hills, is perplexed as to why Anderson had been the backup previously — many SEC programs had already filled up at running back. "Guys aren't going to offer a player who is a backup as a junior," Gregory said. "So (Anderson) goes through spring and gets to the summer and he develops and has an unbelievable senior year. These schools that come in and talk to me, it doesn't matter who he is or how well he's doing, they already have commitments. They just don't recruit him. We had a real hard time finding anybody who had availability. Well, Purdue did. And they came in and I think stole one, stole a great player." Anderson gained about 1,200 yards as a senior, then garnered a December offer. He accepted it and signed during the early period only a few days later. Otherwise, his options were largely smaller programs, like Army or Virginia Military. But Gregory loves Anderson, calling the 6-foot-1, 200-pounder — he could grow into the 220 range — a "big, physi- cal, explosive" back. And Anderson has upside, Gregory said, having only started playing the position as an eighth-grader, then not being a starter until his senior year. He's "not as polished, but is a natural" runner. "People will be kicking themselves when they figure out they didn't even recruit this kid," Gregory said. "He's going to be one of the top running backs in the country by the time he's a senior." The Purdue Fit Did You Know? Anderson is one of four signees from Georgia in the '18 class, joining a Purdue program that had 10 Geor- gians on its roster in 2017. Evan Anderson Running back "Evan Anderson is a big, strong back who can move the chains and pick up tough yards. He is not one with a lot of wiggle or true home-run speed, but he's durable, productive and he has flashed the big-play ability on the high school level. What stands out most is his size and power. He is more of a one-cut runner with an upright running style." — Southeast analyst Chad Simmons take Action photo by Rick Fender

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