Spring position check-up | quarterbacks | Purdue football | O'Connell | Plummer
{{ timeAgo('2021-04-13 09:06:31 -0500') }} football Edit

Spring position check-up: Quarterbacks

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There is plenty of competition with four quarterbacks battling.

The top two contenders are senior Aidan O’Connell and junior Jack Plummer. But don’t discount senior Austin Burton and redshirt freshman Michael Alaimo.

Jeff Brohm and Co., have plenty of options to choose from as they watch this foursome compete.


Purdue has two quarterbacks it knows it can win with in O’Connell and Plummer.

O’Connell won the No. 1 job exiting camp last year, starting the first three games—going 2-1—before his season ended with a foot injury that required surgery and limited him this spring. Plummer came on to start the final three games of a truncated 2020 campaign.

In 2019, Plummer assumed command from an injured Elijah Sindelar and started six games before an ankle injury vs. Nebraska ended his season and required surgery. That cleared the path for O’Connell to start the final three games of 2019.

The 6-3, 200-pound O’Connell throws the best ball among the Boilermaker signal-callers. But he lacks speed, which limits his ability to extend plays or execute designed runs. He is 3-3 as a starter, engineering comeback wins in 2019 vs. Nebraska (off the bench) and Northwestern (starter).

The 6-5, 220-pound Plummer has improved as a passer and also brings a better-than-you-think ability to run the ball. He is 2-7 as a starter.

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Who will win the job? Plummer? O’Connell? The derby figures to come down to those two. Something to keep in mind: Time and again this offseason, Brohm has said he'd like the quarterback to be more involved in the run game to help augment it. Could that give an edge to a mobile signal-caller like Plummer?

It’s interesting to note that Purdue has had at least two different starting quarterbacks each season in the Brohm era, as injury has played a factor each year. Will this be the year one signal-caller starts every game? The last to do so was David Blough in 2016.

There is a chance Brohm could play two quarterbacks early on next season if a clear winner doesn’t emerge during camp. Stay tuned.

How good is Burton? He transferred to Purdue from UCLA last season but didn’t take a snap. Burton started one game for the Bruins back in 2019. It is believed the 6-2, 210-pound Burton was going to get some playing time late last season before COVID shuttered the Boilermakers’ final two games. Will Burton see action in 2021?

The 6-4, 225-pound Alaimo remains a wild card. He impressed last season while redshirting. In fact, Brohm has said Alaimo has the best arm among the quarterbacks.

Purdue didn't sign a quarterback in the Class of 2021 but has a commitment from one in the Class of 2022 in Brady Allen.

Name Ht./Wt. Class

Michael Alaimo



Austin Burton



Aidan O'Connell



Jack Plummer



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