Purdue gained a football commitment and, potentially, lost a starter -- at least for a while.
The Boilers got a commitment from Florida defensive end Keiwan Jones, a 6-2, 251-pound two-star prospect. He had 83 tackles and eight sacks this season for Dunnellon High School. Jones is Purdue's second commitment in the last few days coming out of its big recruiting weekend.
Committing over the weekend was Maryland linebacker Jawhaun Bentley. That gives the Boilers 12 players in the Class of 2014.
Jones chose Purdue over Iowa State, Marshall, Tulane and Florida International. He's the second defensive line commitment, joining Illinois end Will Colmery.
That reflects a strong defensive emphasis from coach Darrell Hazell. Purdue's defense ranked among the Big Ten's worst in nearly every major category this past season.
The Boilers could get another defensive target this week. Missouri defensive end Renell Wren is set to announce this week between Purdue and Arizona State. The three-star prospect is rated as Missouri's No. 12 overall prospect by Rivals.com, a national Internet recruiting service.
The Boilers also have a shot at Florida offensive lineman Marcus Applefield, who is set to choose this week among Purdue, Maryland, Virginia and Rutgers.
Overall, 16 players made official visits this past weekend. The Boilers also are in the running for California defensive back Ladarius Wiley, Florida defensive back Juan Jenkins, Georgia defensive back Brandon Roberts and Florida defensive back Chris Jones (who has committed to South Florida, but might switch).
Purdue's defense already was losing graduating senior cornerback Ricardo Allen. Now the status of safety Taylor Richards is uncertain after his arrest Saturday for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and minor consumption.
Hazell said, in an official release, that he will let the legal process “evolve” before deciding on potential disciplinary action.
“He takes such matters seriously,” the release said.
The 20-year-old Richards ranked third on the team in tackles (64) and had an interception.
Earlier this year Hazell suspended receiver B.J. Knauf for two games and indefinitely suspended receiver Jordan Woods, who never returned. Both were the result of arrests for theft. Hazell also indefinitely suspended receiver O.J. Ross before the season for unspecified reasons. Ross also never returned.