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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Purdue
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  10/16/21 - David BellJr/2023, Purdue, 6-2, 205 (DS#8 WR) + More +

  Aidan O'Connell threw for 375 yards and accounted for three touchdowns, David Bell had a career-best 240 yards receiving and Purdue continued its recent mastery over No. 2 Iowa with a 24-7 victory Saturday. The Boilermakers (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) have won four of their last five games against the Hawkeyes (6-1, 3-1). The loss ended Iowa's 12-game winning streak. Purdue beat its highest-ranked opponent on the road since 1974 at No. 2 Notre Dame. It was the second time in four seasons Purdue has knocked off a No. 2-ranked team. The Boilermakers won at home over a second-ranked Ohio State in 2018.

O'Connell was 30-of-40 passing with two touchdowns and ran for a score. He got the most work on a day when Purdue used backup quarterbacks Jack Plummer and Austin Burton in select situations. All three were in on different plays during the Boilermakers' first-quarter drive that ended with O'Connell's 6-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead. O'Connell threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to TJ Sheffield in the final minute of the first half to give Purdue a 14-7 halftime lead. He threw a 21-yard TD pass to Bell in the fourth quarter. Bell had 11 receptions. He has a combined 37 catches for 558 yards and five touchdowns against Iowa in three seasons. The Hawkeyes' only score was a 3-yard touchdown run by Ivory Kelly-Martin in the second quarter, and Iowa had just 271 yards of offense. Iowa scored its fewest points at home since a 13-7 loss to Nebraska in 2012. - Purdue/AP College Football


(DS#8 WR) Jr/2023 WR David BellPurdue
News Source: Purdue/AP College Football
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  09/25/21 - Aidan OConnellrSr/2022, Purdue, 6-2, 210 (DS#37 QB) + More +

  Purdue needed backup quarterback Aidan O'Connell to deliver in a pinch Saturday. He may have saved their bowl hopes. After relieving Jack Plummer in the third quarter and throwing interceptions on his first two series, the fifth-year senior capped a 94-yard scoring march drive with a 14-yard scoring toss to T.J. Sheffield for the game's only touchdown and a 13-9 victory over Illinois. "We just felt like because we became one-dimensional, we think Aidan is our most accurate thrower and that's not a knock on Jack," Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said. "He stands in there. he's poised, he played to the end and he helped us find a way to win." It sure wasn't easy under the circumstances.

The Boilermakers (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten) started the day without their best receiver, their top two running backs and lost starting tight end Payne Durham in the first half after a jarring hit knocked his helmet loose. After leading Purdue to field goals on its first two series, Plummer couldn't muster another score, so Brohm changed quarterbacks and O'Connell made the game-turning play for the touchdown with 5:44 left in the game. Purdue's defense clinched the victory by forcing a turnover on downs in its own red zone. Illinois (1-4, 1-2) has lost four straight since a season-opening win over Nebraska. - Purdue/AP College Football


(DS#37 QB) rSr/2022 QB Aidan OConnellPurdue
News Source: Purdue/AP College Football
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  09/11/21 - Jack PlummerrJr/2023, Purdue, 6-4, 215 (DS#25 QB) + More +

  Purdue quarterback Jack Plummer threw four touchdown passes in the first half, three to wide receiver David Bell, as the Boilermakers rolled over winless UConn 49-0 Saturday afternoon at Pratt & Whitney Stadium. After punting on its first possession, Purdue (2-0) scored touchdowns on each of its next five to take a 35-0 lead at halftime. "While things weren't as great as we wanted on the first series or two, we found a way to regroup and played well from there," Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said. The Boilermakers, a 34-point favorite by most sports books, scored two more touchdowns with their first two drives in the second half with many second-stringers in the lineup. Plummer completed 16 of his 20 passes, racking up 245 yards and four touchdowns. Bell caught six of the passes for 121 yards and three touchdowns. Both were replaced to start the second half.

In their first game under interim coach Lou Spanos, who took over Monday following Randy Edsall's abrupt retirement, the Huskies advanced inside Purdue's 20-yard line only once in the game. "We feel awful. Our team feels awful that we're not executing. We're just disappointed for our fans," Spanos said. "But our players, they're teammates to each other. We're getting closer as a team. Now, we've got to make sure it transfers on game day. We do good stuff in practice, but we have to do better on game day." UConn (0-3) has lost 28 of its last 29 games against FBS competition. "It was great to see our guys come through and do what we needed to do in this game," Brohm said. "When you face a team that's going through some adversity, you have to make sure your guys come ready to play and understand that on any given day anybody can win. That's college football." It was UConn's most lopsided shutout loss since a 49-0 loss to New Hampshire Nov. 7, 1931. - Purdue/AP College Football


(DS#25 QB) rJr/2023 QB Jack PlummerPurdue
News Source: Purdue/AP College Football
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  09/04/21 - Jack PlummerrJr/2023, Purdue, 6-4, 215 (DS#25 QB) + More +

  Purdue coach Jeff Brohm promised to make changes heading into this season. On Saturday, it paid dividends. Now, he's hoping it keeps working. Jack Plummer threw for 313 yards and two late touchdowns while the Boilermakers' revamped defense made sure it held up for a 30-21 victory over Oregon State to cap the 500th game played at Ross-Ade Stadium. Purdue has won 291 games since its home venue opened in 1924 and this one came in prime time and in front of the largest home crowd in 644 days - thanks largely to the Boilermakers defense. "I think they played really hard, tough, had a couple huge fourth-down stops," Brohm said. "We did what we had to do." It was good enough to snap a four-game losing streak and bring some relief to a program that hasn't played in a bowl game since 2018. The difference: Two fourth-down stops in the second half, which Purdue (1-0) converted into 10 points and Brohm's willingness to throw it deep late in the game. Plummer finished 29 of 41, sealing the victory with a 50-yard TD pass to a wide open Payne Durham with 2:09 left. - Purdue/AP College Football

(DS#25 QB) rJr/2023 QB Jack PlummerPurdue
News Source: Purdue/AP College Football
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  08/28/21 - Jack PlummerrJr/2023, Purdue, 6-4, 215 (DS#25 QB) + More +

  As Jeff Brohm looks to push Purdue's program forward after back-to-back losing seasons, he'll begin this important year with a starting quarterback who can add mobility while leaning on his experience. Jack Plummer features both and has earned the starting job for the Sept. 4 season-opener when the Boilermakers host Oregon State at Ross-Ade Stadium. Plummer won a close competition with Aidan O'Connell, last year's opening-day starter, and Austin Burton, a transfer from UCLA prior to last season but has yet to play. Just the threat of a running quarterback should help expand Brohm's offense to a different level. With struggles in the running game the last two seasons, the Boilermakers need a threat on the ground, even if it comes from the quarterback position.

The mobility of Plummer, along with Burton, has always been appealing to Brohm. The option of having a dual-threat at quarterback opens up Brohm's playbook and gives the offense an opportunity to keep defenses off-balanced and produce more big plays. Plummer will be asked to use his legs more in key situations - third down plays and in the red zone. "We think the quarterback position has to have that threat with the ball in his hands and the defense has to honor him and respect him," Brohm said. "It's something we always have to have in the game plan. "We feel like it has to be an option and we have to utilize it. Taking care of the football when that's being done and protecting yourself when you do run and get yards and get positive plays and get down when you have to. If the down and distance require you to go get the first down, that's what you have to do." - Journal and Courier


(DS#25 QB) rJr/2023 QB Jack PlummerPurdue
News Source: Journal and Courier
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  08/22/21 - Chris JeffersonSr/2022, Purdue, 5-10, 190 (DS#32 FS) + More +

  If Chris Jefferson didn't think he could play in the Big Ten, specifically at Purdue, he wouldn't have placed his name into the NCAA transfer portal during the summer. If Chris Jefferson didn't think he could make the jump from Findlay - an NCAA Division II program - to an FBS program he would've stayed in Ohio. If Purdue's coaches didn't like what they saw from Jefferson during a workout inside the Mollenkopf Athletic Center in June, Jeff Brohm never would've offered the All-American safety.

Jefferson is here now, a member of the program and is looking to play a big role in turning the defense around. One week into preseason practices tell Jefferson he made the right decision. "Oh yes. My confidence has grown a lot," Jefferson said. "When I came here it's like I deserved to be here, but I felt like I've got to prove it to these guys and especially to the team that I deserved to be here. "Now, I feel like I proved it to them so now my confidence is on the rise. They're telling me good job, so it's making me like, 'Man, I'm not just going to come on this level and be an average player.' I'm coming on this level and going to be a weapon for the team." The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Jefferson appeared in 26 career games at Findlay, collecting 12 interceptions and breaking up 10 passes. Jefferson was named to The Associated Press DII All-America first team and earned Defensive Player of the Year honors in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference in back-to-back seasons. - Journal and Courier


(DS#32 FS) Sr/2022 FS Chris JeffersonPurdue
News Source: Journal and Courier
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  08/18/21 - DaMarcus MitchellSr/2022, Purdue, 6-3, 265 (DS#76 DE) + More +

  Purdue will have one of its better defensive players available for the 2021 season after spending the last few weeks in limbo academically. The Journal & Courier has learned defensive end DaMarcus Mitchell will be eligible to play this season and is expected to be a starter opposite George Karlaftis in the Sept. 4 season opener against Oregon State at Ross-Ade Stadium. Mitchell plays the LEO position, a hybrid defensive end/linebacker, with an emphasis on putting pressure on the quarterback and making plays in the backfield.

The junior college transfer arrived at Purdue prior to last season and finished third in tackles (34) and recorded a team-high six tackles for loss, including one sack, while mainly playing linebacker. He filled in for Karlaftis, who suffered an injury and later tested positive for COVID-19. But now with both Karlaftis and Mitchell on the field at the same time along with first-year assistant Mark Hagen in charge, the Boilermakers have a chance to make strides on the defensive line. - Journal and Courier


(DS#76 DE) Sr/2022 DE DaMarcus MitchellPurdue
News Source: Journal and Courier
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  08/18/21 - Sampson JamesJr/2023, Purdue, 6-0, 220 (DS#26 RB) + More +

  IU running back Sampson James has entered the transfer portal, IndyStar confirmed. The former Avon High School standout ran for 371 yards and 3 touchdowns over the last two seasons and was competing for playing time with Stephen Carr and Tim Baldwin. James was listed as the No. 2 running back on the Hoosiers' preseason depth chart. James was a four-star prospect coming out of Avon and committed to Ohio State but coach Tom Allen flipped him to IU in a recruiting coup. James also entered the transfer portal his freshman season but returned to the Hoosiers. James rushed for just 96 yards on 32 carries last season after a promising freshman season. - Indianapolis Star/News

(DS#26 RB) Jr/2023 RB Sampson JamesPurdue
News Source: Indianapolis Star/News
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  08/18/21 - Yanni KarlaftisFr/2025, Purdue, 6-2, 225 (DS#19 OLB) + More +

  With each day, Yanni Karlaftis feels better. He's regaining his quickness. His confidence grows with each repetition. His comfort level increases as he learns the playbook. It's been a long process for the West Lafayette graduate to finally participate in a practice. Any practice. He's made it through four at Purdue and the next step is to play for the Boilermakers during the upcoming season. "It's actually been fun to play some football," Karlaftis said. Karlaftis hasn't played in a game since last year's season opener between the Red Devils and Lafayette Jeff. A hamstring injury sidelined the star linebacker for the rest of the 2020 season and it carried over to Purdue where Karlaftis didn't compete in spring practice.

He enrolled in January with the idea spring practice would be the beginning of his college career, teaming with his older brother, George, a defensive end who may be entering his last season before heading to the NFL. Instead, the younger Karlaftis spent most of his time in the training room rehabilitating his hamstring, which was in bad shape, and working with strength and conditioning coaches. It wasn't until summer conditioning that Karlaftis was returned to being a football player. "I knew my hamstring was really bad," Karlaftis said. "I've never been injured too much before like that. Getting it back took so long. I didn't think I would be out too much of my high school season. That, along with spring ball, and however long I've been here. "Every day I feel better. Every day I feel fast. It's really nice." - Journal and Courier


(DS#19 OLB) Fr/2025 OLB Yanni KarlaftisPurdue
News Source: Journal and Courier
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  08/15/21 - Semisi FakasiieikirSr/2022, Purdue, 6-2, 230 (DS#999 OLB) + More +

  Purdue projected starting middle linebacker Semisi Fakasiieiki suffered a right leg injury in Monday's practice and was immediately carted off the field. Once the team's athletic trainers reached Fakasiieiki on the field, they called for the cart. The Boilermakers, who wore shoulder pads for the first time, were running a short-yardage drill when the injury occurred. "They're going to take him over to the hospital and see exactly what's wrong with him," said co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brad Lambert, who was scheduled to meet with the media before Fakasiieiki's injury.

"It's always tough, right? I tell the guys all the time - tomorrow is not guaranteed. He didn't show up today thinking this might be his last practice. I don't know if it is, (but) that's the mentality you've got to have. You have to play fast and take advantage of every opportunity to get better." Through the first three days of preseason camp, Fakasiieiki - who returned to the program to use his COVID-19 season - was making plays and standing out during drills while showcasing his leadership skills. - Journal and Courier


(DS#999 OLB) rSr/2022 OLB Semisi FakasiieikiPurdue
News Source: Journal and Courier
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  07/23/21 - OC BrothersrSo/2024, Purdue, 6-1, 220 (DS#999 OLB) + More +

  Purdue originally had 11 transfers committed but defensive end Marcus Cushnie (Alabama A&M) bolted for Florida State and safety C.J. McWilliams (Florida) sustained an eye injury and won't be attending Purdue. The rest of the transfers are kicker Mitchell Fineran (Samford), receiver Broc Thompson (Marshall), defensive back Jamari Brown (Kentucky), safety Christopher Jefferson (Findlay, Ohio), defensive tackle Damarjhe Lewis (Indiana), defensive tackle Prince Boyd (Independence Community College). "All of them are going to be given an opportunity to play and showcase their ability and we brought them in here for a reason," Brohm said. "We evaluated them from the day they got here and that will continue during camp. If they can help us, they're going to be playing." Witt is a projected starter at right guard and Fineran has the inside track to become the No. 1 kicker if he performs well in training camp. Lewis and Boyd will see more of an opportunity after veteran Anthony Watts suffered a broken foot this summer and it's unclear if he'll be available this season.

Thompson will challenge the current outside receivers for playing time, Brown and Jefferson will add depth to a thin secondary, Brothers ranks among the top four linebackers after spring practice and Anderson gives the defense another edge rusher. "O.C. Brothers definitely stood out in the spring, making plays and being able to run and having instincts and being aggressive in his approach," Brohm said. "Joe Anderson can be a really good player for us. Tyler Witt jumped in right off the bat and has contributed and done well. Broc Thompson can be a productive player for us. - Journal and Courier


(DS#999 OLB) rSo/2024 OLB OC BrothersPurdue
News Source: Journal and Courier
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  06/16/21 - Chris JeffersonSr/2022, Purdue, 5-10, 190 (DS#32 FS) + More +

  Just how motivated is Christopher Jefferson? Plenty. But it's all self-motivation since this is the path he's elected to travel, transferring to Purdue after spending three seasons at the University of Findlay (Ohio), a Division II program. The incoming safety announced his decision to transfer and join coach Jeff Brohm's program on Monday. He's scheduled to arrive in West Lafayette by Saturday, if not sooner. "I'm probably the most motivated I've been in my entire life," said Jefferson, who will have two years of eligibility with the Boilermakers "I'm probably my biggest critic. I probably fear failure more than anyone. "I'm not coming to Purdue to sit on the bench, I'm not coming to have the experience of playing in front of a large crowd. I'll come in with the same type of mentality as any other player, wanting to play, wanting to do good, wanting to create a legacy and build improvement for the program."

Free safety is the position Jefferson is currently earmarked for, but he also might see action at nickel and on special teams. He's coming to compete for a starting position, but the Boilermakers do return Cam Allen and Marvin Grant. Both, though, missed spring practice due to injuries. But the addition of Jefferson adds depth to a thin secondary. He brings solid credentials. Jefferson was named to The Associated Press DII All-America first team and earned Defensive Player of the Year honors in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference in back-to-back seasons. He appeared in 26 career games at Findlay, collecting 12 interceptions and breaking up 10 passes. In six games last season, Jefferson made 32 tackles. For his career, he totaled 110 tackles. - Journal and Courier


(DS#32 FS) Sr/2022 FS Chris JeffersonPurdue
News Source: Journal and Courier
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  06/14/21 - Chris JeffersonSr/2022, Purdue, 5-10, 190 (DS#32 FS) + More +

  Purdue added short-term and long-term help in the recruiting department Monday. Monday night, Christopher Jefferson - a safety at Division II Findlay in Ohio - announced he's transferring to joining coach Jeff Brohm's program. Earlier Monday, the Boilermakers added their second commitment to the 2022 recruiting class in the last three days when Texas defensive lineman Nic Caraway announced his pledge. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Jefferson appeared in 26 career games at Findlay, collecting 12 interceptions and breaking up 10 passes. Jefferson was named to The Associated Press DII All-America team. In six games last season, Jefferson made32 tackles. For his career, he made 110 total tackles. Jefferson is the 10th player to transfer into Purdue's program, including junior college players and from the NCAA portal. - Journal and Courier

(DS#32 FS) Sr/2022 FS Chris JeffersonPurdue
News Source: Journal and Courier
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  05/30/21 - Broc ThompsonJr/2023, Purdue, 6-1, 190 (DS#999 WR) + More +

  Last season, Broc Thompson changed his number at Marshall from 88 to 13 to honor his younger brother, Cade, a young promising receiver who was battling cancer. Broc Thompson is now changing his location to be closer to his family. Thompson announced Saturday he's transferring to Purdue to join coach Jeff Brohm's program. The 6-foot-2, 188-pound receiver from Indianapolis entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal on Friday. As a sophomore for the Thundering Herd, Thompson caught 14 passes for 228 yards last season. For his career, the Ben Davis graduate made 33 catches for 562 yards. He'll bring experience to the Boilermakers' receiving group, which features David Bell, Milton Wright, T.J. Sheffield, Jackson Anthrop and Mershawn Rice. Thompson is the ninth transfer to announce plans to join Purdue's program in the offseason. - Journal and Courier

(DS#999 WR) Jr/2023 WR Broc ThompsonPurdue
News Source: Journal and Courier
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  05/30/21 - Broc ThompsonJr/2023, Purdue, 6-1, 190 (DS#999 WR) + More +

  Marshall football lost its second wide receiver in two days to the NCAA transfer portal. On Friday, Thundering Herd sophomore wide receiver Broc Thompson announced his intentions to transfer on social media. "After much consideration, prayer and consultation with my family, I announce with a heavy heart that I will be entering into the transfer portal," Thompson said. "Thank you to all of the coaches, staff, and community of marshall for believing in me! The 75 will live forever in my heart! God Bless." Thompson and his family suffered through the toughest of years in 2020.

After going without football due to COVID-19 until summer conditioning, Thompson finally saw some light at the end of the tunnel as the Herd got back on campus in June in preparation for drills to start later in summer. In mid-July, though, his whole world changed as his little brother, Cade, was diagnosed with cancer. Thompson briefly left the team to be with family before returning for drills in August. When he returned, he donned the No. 13 in honor of Cade, who was a standout young receiver prospect at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis. "He's better than I ever could be," Broc beamed of his brother in the 2019 season. - Charleston Gazette


(DS#999 WR) Jr/2023 WR Broc ThompsonPurdue
News Source: Charleston Gazette
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