If you think new Purdue coach Jeff Brohm’s first Boiler recruiting class has a strong Western Kentucky feel to it, you’re not imagining it.
Brohm has tapped into his Hilltopper roots to boost the Class of 2017. Several had committed to Western Kentucky (where Brohm coached for the previous three seasons) before changing their minds after Brohm got the Purdue job in early December.
Case in point — Louisville offensive lineman D.J. Washington and Kentucky defensive back Kenneth Major. On Sunday night, both switched from Western Kentucky to Purdue.
Major was an all-state cornerback-safety, who also played receiver. As a high school senior, he had 65 tackles and an interception. He caught 13 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown. He projects as a physical cornerback for Purdue.
The 6-4, 275-pound Washington made the Louisville Courier-Journal’s All-Metro team.
Brohm’s offensive reputation has made a late recruiting impact, especially at receiver. On Monday Kansas junior college receiver Terry Wright committed. Last season the three-star prospect caught 50 passes for eight touchdowns and more than 800 yards.
Three days earlier, Georgia junior college receiver Isaac Zico committed. He caught 46 passes for 950 yards and 15 TDs last season.
Purdue has already signed two high school receivers in South Carolina’s Tyler Hamilton and Florida’s D’Jaundrae Edwards (both enrolled for the second semester). Three more receivers have committed and are expected to sign on Wednesday, the first day of the official signing period. They are Ohio’s Brevin Harris, Missouri’s Darius Pittman and Kentucky’s C.J. Hayes.
Purdue also is targeting three-star receiver prospect JaVonta Payton.
Brohm is known for developing prolific offenses, and that starts at quarterback. Purdue has two committed quarterback — Nick Sipe out of California and Griffin Alstott out of Florida.
Rivals.com rates Sipe as a three-star prospect and the state’s No. 74 overall player. He committed under former coach Darrell Hazell last June. Boise State and Wyoming were among the schools to offer him.
Alstott also is a three-star prospect, and also committed under Hazell. He is the son of former Purdue fullback great Mike Alstott, who later excelled with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
However, quarterback isn’t a pressing need for this class with starter David Blough having two more years and backup Elijah Sindelar having three.
Brohm can’t talk about specific recruits until they sign their national letters of intent. However, when asked about his overall recruiting approach during his introductory press conference, Brohm offered these thoughts:
“I think from a recruiting standpoint, it's important that you go out and get the best quarterbacks you can. I think it's important that you have to get the best linemen you can on both offense and defense, and you have to have enough of them. I think some people sign too many skill guys and don't have enough linemen. You have to have the linemen to win at a high level on both sides of the ball.
“We’re going to recruit skill positions. Normally there are a lot of those guys out there. If you coach them up and you get guys that want to become great, you can help develop those guys to be great.”
There’s one potential obstacle to greatness – Purdue’s 20-player class ranks last in the Big Ten according to Rivals.com and Scout.com, two national Internet recruiting services. Rivals has the Boilers at No. 76 nationally. Scout has them at No.71.
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More InformationPurdue 2017 football recruits
Terry Wright, WR Kansas 6-0, 170
D.J. Washington, OL Kentucky 6-5, 275
Kenneth Major, DB Kentucky 5-10, 190
T.J. Jallow, DB Mississippi 6-2, 210
Kai Higgins, DE California 6-4, 245
Ethan Smart, OL Mississippi 6-6, 290
Isaac Zico, WR Georgia 6-0, 190
Viktor Beach, OL Florida 6-5, 285
D’Jaundrae Edwards, WR Florida 6-2, 180
Giavanni Hightower-Reviere, DE Tennessee 6-4, 224
Darius Pittman, WR Missouri 6-3, 225
Jalen Jackson, OL Georgia 6-3, 255
Jacob Abrams, DB Carmel, Ind., 6-2, 193
Tyler Hamilton, WR South Carolina 5-9, 160
Mark Strickford, OL Carmel, Ind., 6-6, 250
Dedrick Mackey, DB Florida 5-11, 165
Brevin Harris, WR Ohio 6-5, 175
C.J. Hayes, ATH Kentucky 6-3, 200
Nicholas Sipe, QB California 6-4 190
Griffin Alstott, QB Florida 6-2, 195