Associated Press, February 1, 2017
(AP) New Purdue coach Jeff Brohm spent most of the recruiting season playing catch-up.
By Wednesday, he thought he'd finally made some progress.
After adding some bigger bodies along the offensive and defensive lines and some experienced, play-making receivers to the roster, Brohm felt as if he had filled some glaring holes – even if it meant changing the strategy a bit.
"You have to have guys that can help right away," Brohm said after signing five junior college players . "It's still an open market, and we're looking at jucos and graduate transfers to help us."
After signing two dozen players, including nine linemen, Brohm still has enough scholarships to add a handful more players.
The two getting the most attention, of course, will be the quarterbacks – Griffin Alstott, the son of former Boilermakers star running back Mike Alstott, and Nick Sipe, the nephew of 1980 NFL MVP Brian Sipe.
But the more immediate help is likely to come from players such as 6-foot-6, 290-pound offensive lineman Ethan Smart, defensive end Kai Higgins, hard-hitting safety T.J. Jallow and receivers Terry Wright and Isaac Zico – all juniors who could play key roles when Purdue opens the season Sept. 2 against Louisville and Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson.
"I think we have made some good inroads," Brohm said. "But we still have some work to do."
Other things to know:
Top 25 Class: No.
Best in class: Jallow, East Mississippi C.C. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Jallow not only fills a big need, he arrives on campus with experience and could become an immediate contributor.
Best of the rest: Zico, Georgia Military College, and Wright, Coffeyville C.C., should help fill the void left by four receivers who graduated. Smart, Northeast Mississippi CC, has the size to start at tackle in the Big Ten immediately.
Late addition: Wright. In the weeks leading up to signing day, he made the rounds visiting schools such as Boise State and Houston. But when Wright made his decision Sunday, Purdue came out the winner.
One that got away: C.J. Hayes. The 6-3, 200-pound receiver from Kentucky originally committed to the Boilermakers in June and stuck to that commitment – until Tuesday, when he announced he'd play at Michigan State.
How they'll fit in: Brohm only nabbed two players from Indiana. But by bringing in seven freshmen from Florida and three from Georgia, there's a chance those newcomers could emerge as key contributors this fall, too.