Danny Hope got himself one heck of a transfer today. Calvin Smith, a defensive tackle from Florida, decided to join Purdue after playing one season at New Mexico. Smith will redshirt this season and will have three years of eligibility remaining for Purdue. Smith was a four star recruit coming out of high school, but turmoil at New Mexico led him to transfer.
This a HUGE get for Purdue. The middle of the defensive line is always a weak spot for Purdue. Smith will help shore that up immensely. He gets to spend this season working with Kawann Short and Bruce Gaston before he actually plays a snap. Next year, with Short, Gaston, and Smith, the interior of Purdue’s defensive line will be a force. In high school, Smith showed tremendous speed getting off the ball, and hopefully he brings that Purdue. Adding a little size won’t hurt either.
More importantly, this bodes well for Danny Hope. He can get players to buy into his system. However, it now depends on what he does with them. Getting players of Smith’s caliber may help him hold on one more year. I thought if this year went badly, Hope would be gone. However, maybe players like Smith can help Hope hold on for another year. With a fully healthy team, Purdue should return to a bowl game. If not, the blame can fall squarely on Hope. If he keeps bringing in players like Smith to the program, however, Purdue might have Hope in charge for a long, long time.