There have been numerous notes this week about Purdue football during the Minnesota game week. Let’s hash it out!
- Defensive Tackle Calvin Smith, who was sitting this year out per NCAA rules for transfer athletes, has left the team. Smith was a highly touted 4-star recruit out of Hialeah, Florida. Although Coach Hope did not make a formal statement about Smith’s departure from the team, it seems that he was arrested for theft on September 30th. Hope only said that it was not a good “fit.” To me, this is not huge news because Smith never had a chance to have an impact for Purdue. Also, Purdue has adequate depth at the defensive tackle position, so this is one area where Purdue should be solid for the next few years. For some reason, I never got that excited about Smith’s transfer to Purdue because it didn’t make sense to me why a four-star recruit with alleged offers from Alabama, Florida, and Florida State (among others) chose to play at New Mexico. Smith didn’t make much of an impact at New Mexico while he was there and we’re talking about a horrid football program (the head coach even took a paycut last year just to keep his job). Happy trails Calvin Smith and better luck at your next stop!
- It looks like the Purdue football team will no longer be using Twitter for the remainder of the season. This is probably a good thing after the controversy that started after tweets from Robert Marve, Gerald Gooden, and former Purdue player Keith Smith. There has been no formal announcement from Purdue sports department about this and we’re not sure whether this was Coach Hope’s decision or the players. Matt Painter has not allowed his team to use twitter during the season and with 18-22 year olds not always being the most mature, this policy can avoid some unnecessary trouble in the world of social mediums.
- A big question for Purdue’s game against Minnesota this week is whether quarterback MarQueis Gray will be healthy enough to play. Without Gray, the Gophers will start freshman quarterback Max Shortell who was held scoreless against Michigan last week in a 59 to 0 romp for the Wolverines.
- Gary Harris has scheduled a visit to Kentucky on October 22nd and Ohio State has recently tried to get back into the picture. Could this affect his decision timeline? Perhaps. He is allowed 5 official visits and he only has 3 remaining visits scheduled after he was hosted by Purdue last weekend. One thing remains for sure: there is no clear leader and I could see any of his suitors as a legitimate team that could land Harris.
- Jeff Washburn recently reported that AJ Hammons may be visiting Purdue on the October 22nd weekend (Purdue vs. Illinois home football game). This will likely be Hammons’ last visit and could bring Hammons close to the end of his recruitment. Purdue has an excellent shot here. The other contestants in the Hammons sweepstakes are Cincinnati and Minnesota.
- The other remaining active 2012 target is Stefan Jankovic. He is scheduled to visit on October 15th. He recently tweeted that he now weights 240 lbs. At 6-10 and 240 lbs, he has the size to play the 5 and the skill level to play as a face-up 4. He’s an intriguing prospect, but I think Painter would like to hear where Harris and Hammons decide before Jankovic can take the scholarship. It appears that Harris is priority #1, Hammons #2, and Jankovic #3.
Stay tuned for my upcoming Purdue vs. Minnesota preview!