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Purdue football recruiting class rates among Big Ten's best

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For more on Indiana athletics, follow Pete DiPrimio via Twitter at pdiprimio.

Boilers seek to sign 25 on Wednesday

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 5:56 am

Danny Hope is pumped about his newest Purdue football recruiting class. This much we know.

Anything else will have to wait until Wednesday, the first day of the official signing period, when Hope can talk about a class that rates among the nation's best according to Rivals.com, a national Internet recruiting service.

Rivals lists Purdue's 25-player class as No. 32 nationally and fourth in the Big Ten behind No. 3 Ohio State, No. 5 Michigan and No. 28 Nebraska.

Another national Internet recruiting service, Scout.com, ranks Purdue 48th and seventh in the Big Ten behind No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Michigan, No. 37 Michigan State, No. 38 Penn State, No. 42 Northwestern and No. 43 Iowa.

Hope has made a big push to improve talent, speed and athleticism since taking over the program four years ago. That meant tapping into his extensive Florida high school contacts, and it's paying off once again.

Take, for instance, Tampa cornerback Anthony Brown. He's rated as the nation's No. 51 cornerback by Rivals. He has plenty of speed. He qualified for the Florida state track meet last year and ran 10.67 seconds in the 100-meter dash and 21.6 in the 200. He also scored 15 touchdowns on offense as a running back/receiver.

Brown is one of six Florida commitments.

Overall, Purdue is set to sign eight players from SEC states.

Hope also heavily recruited Texas, another high school football hotbed. Four commitments come from there, led by offensive lineman Jordan Roos, who is rated No. 63 nationally at guard. He is listed at 6-6 and 300 pounds, yet has a 29-inch vertical jump. He bench- presses 420 pounds, squats 485 pounds and is a two-time state shot put champion. He also plans to participate in track at Purdue.

The Boilers have commitments from four in-state players: Indianapolis Pike quarterback Aloyis Gray, Lafayette Central Catholic receiver Danny Anthrop, Carmel linebacker Jimmy Herman and Indianapolis Warren Central safety Jordan Shine.

Gray is the highest rated in-state player at No. 12 in Indiana and No. 24 nationally at his position. At 6-3 and 165 pounds, he needs a lot of work in the weight room to add size and strength.

Herman is ranked No. 18 in the state. Anthrop, who is No. 13, might get a shot at running back because of injuries to Ralph Bolden and Brandon Cottom, and Reggie Pegram's decision to transfer. Barring a late addition, this class doesn't have a true running back.

Gray, Brown and Roos are three of the six Purdue commitments who are nationally ranked at their positions. The others are North Carolina kicker Paul Griggs (No. 5), Maryland defensive end Ryan Watson (No. 16) and Florida dual-threat quarterback Bilal Marshall (No. 18).

Watson, a four-star prospect, had offers from 20 other programs. He might be the most highly regarded member of the class.

Marshall had originally committed to Kansas, but changed his mind when former coach Turner Gill was fired and the Jayhawks hired former Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis.

At 6-3 and 170 pounds, Marshall is about the same size as Gray. He also needs to add weight and strength. Both figure to redshirt next season. Both are fast and athletic enough to move to another position.

Purdue also is bringing in pro-style quarterback Austin Appleby from Ohio. He is 6-5 and 225 pounds.

Griggs came to Purdue because of the program's commitment to special teams and the success of Carson Wiggs, who just wrapped up a successful Boiler career.

An intriguing prospect is Texas tight end Carlos Carvajal, who is listed at 6-6 and 225 pounds. He signed last year, but went to prep school to boost his grades. He also has the potential to move to defensive end. He is already enrolled at Purdue as are junior college players Greg Latta (a defensive end) and offensive tackle Devin Smith.

The Boilers are set to sign 15 offensive players, eight defensive players and two special teams players.