May 6, 2013

Coach: 'Trae is all about speed'

Purdue commitment Trae Hart's unbelievable junior receiving statistics - 108 catches for 2,044 yards and 29 touchdowns - do seem, well, unbelievable.

"But he really did (have those)," Dallas First Baptist Academy coach Jason Lovvorn said Monday afternoon. "… And (he) also had four special teams touchdowns as a return guy.

"He does a great job as a receiver because he can go deep with his speed, but he's also got those natural moves so that we can run a lot of screens with him, and he's able to take those to the house also.

"Trae is all about speed."

That's the operative characteristic for Hart, a 155-pound wideout who committed to the Boilermakers over the weekend, shortly after receiving an offer from Purdue. He becomes the first commitment of the 2014 class for Darrell Hazell and Co.

Lovvorn says Hart's been clocked at a sub-4.4 in the 40-yard dash - the coach calls him a "4.4 guy" - that allows him to frequently beat the opponent's defense. And he does so despite being smaller than many others on the field.

"He's around 5-11, so he's not as small as some people might think," Lovvorn said. "But it's that speed; you can't hit what you can't catch. That's the thing with Trae, he's 5-11, 155, but they have a hard time getting a hand on him. And he does a really good job of when someone does get a hand on him, they don't hit him straight up because he's so hard to catch. They just are able to pull him down, but nobody gets a straight shot on Trae because of his quickness."

The speed attracted Purdue. During a recruiting visit to watch First Baptist quarterback Max Partlo, a highly-regarded 6-4, 220 pocket passer, Boilermaker offensive coordinator John Shoop became intrigued by the speedster the QB was throwing to. An offer, Hart's first, came shortly thereafter.

"Trae really jumped out to him," Lovvorn said. "Going through some of those drills, he's got great feet and is quick out of his break and has natural hands. And I think Coach Shoop fell in love with what he saw."

More offers might have - and still could - come for Hart. Lovvorn says most schools, and Houston, SMU, Hawaii, Baylor and others have expressed interested, want to see Hart in person.

"A lot of those schools have said 'I see his film and it looks great; either I want him to come to a camp or we're going to come down to see him this spring,'" Lovvorn said.

"I think Purdue is really fortunate that Coach Shoop was able to see him early in the spring and jump on that. I think there are a lot of people who would have seen him at a camp and would have offered him, or would have seen him here in the next couple weeks. So for Purdue to get on him that quickly, I think Coach Shoop saw what he was getting and wanted to go ahead and pull the trigger."

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