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February 5, 2013

Signing Day breakdown: Offensive recruits

Wednesday, Purdue coach Darrell Hazell signs his first Boilermaker recruiting class, an anticipated signing class of about 22 players, about half of which he inherited from former coach Danny Hope and his staff.

Below, GoldandBlack.com takes a position-by-position look at the expected Purdue 2013 recruiting class and how it fits in.

In our first installment, we look at offensive recruits.

Quarterback: This is a one-quarterback class and Purdue, by every account, got a good one.

Danny Etling, a Rivals.com four-star prospect, is the headliner of the class, at least on paper.

Already enrolled at Purdue, the former Terre Haute South QB is considered one of the top 10 pro-style quarterbacks nationally by Rivals.com and ranked 167th overall nationally.

How they fit in: It is a reasonable expectation that Etling will redshirt considering most quarterbacks do, but the QB situation at Purdue right now would seem wide open as a new coaching staff takes over. You never know. Etling is already on campus so he'll at least have a leg up coming into the fall.

Senior Rob Henry returns at QB, with redshirt freshmen Austin Appleby and Bilal Marshall also sure to get long looks in the spring.

Running back: Here's the position where Purdue simply reloaded, signing four players - David Yancey, Keyante Green, Keith Byars III and Dalyn Dawkins - for its offensive backfield, including some of the class' highest-regarded prospects.

Green and Yancey were regarded as two of the jewels of the core of commitments Hazell inherited from Hope, Yancey being the top running back prospect in Indiana this year and Green being a highly recruited Georgian who turned down a last-second Tennessee offer to stick with the Boilermakers.

Purdue added the other two this past weekend, after Hazell targeted Dawkins heavily this winter to play a role similar to one the versatile Dri Archer performed for him at Kent State. Byars is thought to be a physical between-the-tackles runner who comes from good stock, his dad being former Ohio State great Keith Byars.

How they fit in: Purdue lost its top two ball-carriers so opportunities will abound at running back. Don't be surprised to see a couple of these guys playing next season.

Wide receiver: This was an urgent need for Hazell when he took over, given the roster turnover at the position and the fact he only inherited one recruit, Myles Norwood, projected to play receiver.

In adding former Boston College commit Dan Monteroso (6-foot-3, 180 pounds) and ex-Kentucky commit DeAngelo Yancey (6-2, 200) to go along with Norwood (6-2), Purdue got significantly bigger at a position where it's been especially small in recent seasons.

This class of receiver signees, though, would seem vastly different than the speed-over-size template Hope and his staff recruited to.

It bears mentioning also that Dawkins was recruited in part for his versatility. He's expected to be used periodically in the slot in a receiving capacity.

How they fit in: How much help is needed immediately at wide receiver remains to be seen, based on the status of suspended O.J. Ross, the development of younger players and, most importantly, the offensive system Purdue wants to run.

Tight end: Purdue took just one in this class, with Florida's Matt Burke being one of the Boilermakers' higher winter targets that they were able to land.

The 6-6, 220-pound Burke is a receiving-oriented tight end at this stage of his development who was a popular target among a variety of colleges in the final weeks before signing day.

How they fit in: Purdue signed multiple tight ends last season and returns a likely starter in senior Gabe Holmes. Considering Burke's frame at this time, it's fair to expect him to redshirt.

Offensive line: After Purdue signed a half dozen of them last year, offensive linemen were not an urgent need in this class, but Hazell wanted at least one and got him when Ohio's Jason Tretter quickly accepted an offer.

The 6-7, 305-pound Tretter will start off at tackle, but can also play guard.

How they fit in: Tretter will almost certainly redshirt, as most offensive linemen do. Purdue will need immediate help from young players on the offensive line, whether it be in starting capacities or for depth, but will look to its five redshirt freshmen first.

Copyright, Boilers, Inc. 2013. All Rights Reserved. Reproducing or using editorial or graphical content, in whole or in part, without permission, is strictly prohibited. E-mail GoldandBlack.com/Boilers, Inc.

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