Feb. 2, 2005
To listen to the 4 p.m. press conference live, click here
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue football coach Joe Tiller today announced the signing of 18 student-athletes to National Letters-of-Intent to join three others for a 21-member recruiting class.
The Boilermakers received signed letters from 10 defensive players, eight offensive players, two players listed with positions on both sides of the ball and one player listed as an athlete. There are five defensive linemen, three defensive backs, three offensive linemen, two quarterbacks, two wide receivers, one linebacker, one tight end, one fullback-linebacker, one running back-cornerback and one safety-linebacker.
"Our approach in recruiting this class was to address some specific needs, most notably defensive tackle, offensive tackle and wide receiver," Tiller said. "Having addressed those needs, we then focused our attention on the very best players we could recruit. We feel very good about the talent of the class and are anxious to see them display their skills at Purdue. I would say this class compares favorably to last year's."
The recruits hail from seven different states: nine from Indiana; four from Illinois; two from Georgia, New Jersey and Ohio; and one from Pennsylvania and Texas
In December, cornerback Christian Graham (Indianapolis, Ind., Warren Central H.S.), quarterback David Ramirez (Red Oak, Texas, Grace Preparatory Academy); and linebacker Kyle Williams (Bolingbrook, Ill., Bolingbrook H.S.) joined the Boilermakers. Graham and Ramirez originally signed with Purdue last year, while Williams sat out the year. All three currently are taking classes at Purdue and will participate in spring practice.
2005 PURDUE FOOTBALL RECRUIT BIOGRAPHIES
Derek Benson, ATH, 6-1, 200, Princeton, N.J. (The Hun School)
Second team Prep School All-State as senior after catching 32 passes for 465 yards (14.5 average) and four touchdowns ... returned two kickoffs for touchdowns ... had 34 receptions for 874 yards (25.7 average) and nine touchdowns as junior ... attended two other prep schools - Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia and Old Avon Farms in Connecticut ... timed at 4.4 in the 40-yard dash ... bench presses 315 and vertical leap is 36 inches ... coach was Dave Dudeck.
Keyon Brown, DE, 6-3, 225, Homewood, Ill. (Thornton Township)
Ranked as No. 31 weakside defensive end in nation and No. 23 player in Illinois by Rivals.com ... No. 36 overall prospect in Midwest by Prep Football Report ... special mention all-state, all-area and all-conference selection as senior ... totaled 67 tackles, including 15 sacks, with seven pass breakups, three fumble recoveries and one blocked punt ... transferred from Thornridge High School prior to senior season ... timed at 4.6 in the 40-yard dash ... coach was Bill Mosel ... cousin of Oakland Raiders linebacker Napoleon Harris.
Joey Elliott, QB, 6-3, 200, Evansville, Ind. (Harrison)
Ranked as No. 18 pro-style quarterback in nation and No. 5 player in Indiana by Rivals.com ... No. 34 overall prospect in Midwest by Prep Football Report ... Class 5A first team all-state as senior ... completed 233 of 411 (56.7 percent) passes for 2,899 yards and 33 touchdowns ... completed 222 of 389 passes (57.1 percent) for 2,689 yards and 28 touchdowns his junior year ... led his team to 11 come-from-behind victories his last two seasons ... career totals included 7,797 passing yards (No. 12 in state history), 80 touchdowns and 34 interceptions ... holds state record with 36 completions in game as junior ... timed at 4.63 in the 40-yard dash ... coach was Harvey Robbins ... hails from same hometown as former Purdue All-America quarterback Bob Griese.
Frank Halliburton, FB-LB, 6-3, 240, Indianapolis, Ind. (Bishop Chatard)
Ranked as No. 10 player in Indiana by Rivals.com ... Class 3A first team all-state as senior ... totaled 144 tackles, including 12 for a loss and six sacks, with three fumble recoveries (two returned for touchdowns) ... rushed 67 times for 597 yards (8.9 average) and 11 touchdowns ... played for state championship teams as freshman, sophomore and junior and for regional winner his senior season ... timed at 4.6 in the 40-yard dash ... coach was Vince Lorenzano.
Eric Hedstrom, OL, 6-7, 270, Arlington Heights, Ill. (Mount Prospect)
Ranked as No. 14 offensive guard in nation and No. 8 player in Illinois by Rivals.com ... No. 19 offensive lineman in nation by SuperPrep and No. 32 by Collegefootballnews.com ... second team all-state as senior ... totaled more than 40 pancake blocks and allowed merely one sack all season ... all-area selection as junior ... also was a long snapper ... timed at 5.0 in the 40-yard dash ... coach was Brent Pearlman.
Alec Huber, TE, 6-5, 225, McDonough, Ga. (Eagle's Landing Christian)
First team all-state, area Defensive Player of the Year, region Most Valuable Player and county Player of the Year as senior ... caught 35 passes for 575 yards (16.8 average) and nine touchdowns ... ranked second in state in touchdown catches (one behind leader), third in receptions (one behind co-leaders) and fourth in receiving yards ... recorded 121 tackles as linebacker to lead all of Region 5-A ... received Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl/Havoline Scholar Athlete scholarship as one of top 40 scholar-athletes in state ... timed at 4.5 in the 40-yard dash ... coach was Tim Luke ... second in state in high jump at 6-feet-2.
Todshon Jones, CB, 6-2, 165, Sicklerville, N.J. (Winslow Township)
First team all-conference as senior ... recorded 107 tackles, nine interceptions and seven forced fumbles ... returned three interceptions for touchdowns ... also played quarterback and wide receiver and caught six touchdown passes and threw three ... timed at 4.5 in the 40-yard dash ... coach was Felton Jones.
Jason Kacinko, OL, 6-6, 300, Harrison City, Pa. (Penn-Trafford)
Four-star prospect ranked as No. 14 offensive tackle in nation and No. 7 player in Pennsylvania by Rivals.com ... No. 18 offensive lineman in nation by SuperPrep and No. 24 by Collegefootballnews.com ... member of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Fabulous 22" and the Tribune-Review "Terrific 25" as senior ... second team all-state honoree ... graded out at better than 90 percent on his blocking assignments ... first team all-conference as junior ... did not allow a sack in his career ... timed at 5.34 in the 40-yard dash, bench presses 320 and squats 525 ... coach was Art Tragesser.
Brandon King, DB, 5-11, 180, Warner Robins, Ga. (Houston County)
Ranked as No. 69 athlete in nation and No. 40 player in Georgia by Rivals.com ... first team all-state as senior quarterback ... rushed for 1,002 yards with 10 touchdowns and passed for 900 yards with eight touchdowns ... recorded 18 tackles and two interceptions in limited action on defense ... primarily played cornerback as freshman and sophomore and quarterback as junior and senior ... timed at 4.49 in the 40-yard dash ... coach was Brian Way.
Selwyn Lymon, WR, 6-4, 190, Fort Wayne, Ind. (Harding)
Four-star prospect ranked as No. 22 overall player and No. 5 wide receiver in nation by SuperPrep ... No. 72 overall player, No. 7 wide receiver and No. 1 player in Indiana by Rivals.com ... No. 11 wide receiver by Student Sports ... Class 2A first team all-state as senior ... played wide receiver and quarterback ... had 16 receptions for 353 yards (22.1 average) and four touchdowns ... completed 54 of 96 passes (56.3 percent) for 1,022 yards with 11 touchdowns and four touchdowns and had 1,000 yards rushing ... invited to U.S. Army All-America Game ... caught 47 passes for 1,134 yards (24.1 average) and 13 touchdowns en route to being named all-area and all-conference his junior season ... timed at 4.4 in the 40-yard dash ... coach was Sherwood Haydock ... cousin of current Boilermaker safety Bernard Pollard.
Alex Magee, DT, 6-5, 270, Oswego, Ill. (Oswego)
Ranked No. 32 defensive tackle in nation and No. 14 player in Illinois by Rivals.com ... No. 47 overall prospect in Midwest by Prep Football Report ... listed among ChicagoSports.com top 100 players ... Class 7A first team all-state as senior ... recorded 60 tackles, including 11 for loss and eight sacks ... all-state his junior season ... also played fullback in short-yardage situations ... timed at 4.8 in the 40-yard dash ... coach was Karl Hoinkes.
Dray Mason, RB-CB, 5-10, 175, Indianapolis, Ind. (Bishop Chatard)
Ranked as No. 56 cornerback in nation and No. 8 player in Indiana by Rivals.com ... Class 4A first team all-state as senior ... rushed for 1,235 yards on 104 carries (11.9 average) with 19 touchdowns despite missing five games due to injury ... rushed 203 times for 2,551 yards (12.6 average) and had 49 total touchdowns en route to being named all-state his junior season ... rushed for more than 4,500 yards and had 85 total touchdowns for his career ... had 10 kickoff returns for touchdowns ... played for state championship teams as freshman, sophomore and junior and for regional winner his senior season ... set or tied six state title game records against NorthWood with 205 yards rushing and five touchdowns ... timed at 4.4 in the 40-yard dash ... coach was Vince Lorenzano.
Michael Neal, DT, 6-4, 240, Merrillville, Ind. (Merrillville)
Ranked as No. 29 strongside defensive end in nation and No. 6 player in Indiana by Rivals.com ... No. 33 defensive end in nation by Collegefootballnews.com ... No. 56 overall prospect in Midwest by Prep Football Report ... Class 5A first team all-state selection as senior ... totaled 95 tackles, including 24 for loss and 13 sacks, with 18 quarterback hurries, six pass breakups and one blocked kick ... had 49 tackles, including 14 for loss and four sacks, with three pass breakups and one fumble recovery his junior season ... timed at 4.6 in the 40-yard dash ... coach was Joe Yelton.
Greg Orton, WR, 6-4, 190, Dayton, Ohio (Wayne)
Ranked as No. 19 wide receiver in the nation by SuperPrep ... No. 53 wide receiver in nation and No. 21 player in Ohio by Rivals.com ... first team all-state selection as senior ... caught 65 passes for 1,058 yards (16.3 average) and nine touchdowns ... had 59 receptions for 782 yards (13.3 average) and 12 touchdowns his junior season ... two-time all-area and all-conference honoree ... timed at 4.49 in the 40-yard dash and has a 29-inch vertical leap ... coach was Jay Minton.
J.B. Paxson, DT-DE, 6-4, 265, Greenwood, Ind. (Center Grove)
Four-star prospect ranked as No. 4 defensive end in nation by Student Sports ...... No. 9 strongside defensive end and No. 2 player in Indiana by Rivals.com ... No. 9 defensive lineman by SuperPrep ... No. 26 overall prospect in Midwest by Prep Football Report ... Class 5A first team all-state as senior ... recorded 88 tackles, including 17 for loss and 11 sacks sacks, with one interception ... participated in U.S. Army All-America Game ... all-state honoree his junior year after recording 110 tackles, including 22 sacks, with 13 pass breakups, four interceptions and four fumble recoveries ... timed at 4.81 in the 40-yard dash ... coach was Eric Moore ... outstanding pitcher and catcher in baseball.
Zach Reckman, OL, 6-6, 245, Cincinnati, Ohio (Indian Creek)
All-conference and all-district performer as senior ... runner-up for league Defensive Player of the Year honors at tackle ... recorded 91 tackles, including nine sacks, and blocked two field goals despite missing three games due to injury ... bench presses 285 and timed at 4.9 in the 40-yard dash ... coach was Kevin Siple ... has been rated No. 1 heavyweight wrestler in Southwest Ohio this season.
Jason Werner, S-LB, 6-4, 200, Greenwood, Ind. (Roncalli)
Ranked as No. 43 outside linebacker in nation and No. 3 player in Indiana by Rivals.com ... No. 31 overall prospect in Midwest by Prep Football Report ... Indiana Mr. Football and Class 4A first team all-state as senior ... led state with 14 interceptions, including eight during the playoffs ... recorded 81 tackles ... also played safety, wide receiver and running back ... had 13 catches for 348 yards (26.8 average) ... totaled 91 tackles, five interceptions and 10 receptions for 129 yards (12.9 average) and one touchdown his junior year ... member of the junior all-metro south and all-state teams ... team won 4A state championship his sophomore, junior and senior seasons ... timed at 4.5 in the 40-yard dash ... coach was Bruce Scifres ... basketball team's leading scorer the last two years and holds school records in track in the 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump and 400 relay.
Kyle Williams, LB, 6-2, 210, Bolingbrook, Ill. (Bolingbrook)
Began practicing with Boilermakers following conclusion of 2004 fall semester and currently is enrolled in school ... did not play last season ... five-star prospect named first team All-American by Parade, Rivals.com and Insiders.com as senior ... recorded 89 tackles and two interceptions while rushing for 1,068 yards and 12 touchdowns ... two-time all-state honoree and three-time all-conference selection ... career statistics included 257 tackles, nine sacks and five interceptions to go with 1,393 rushing yards, 118 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns ... all-state wrestler ... timed at 4.57 in the 40-yard dash ... coach was John Ivlow.
Jared Zwilling, DT, 6-4, 255, Evansville, Ind. (Central)
Ranked as No. 39 strongside defensive end and No. 7 player in Indiana by Rivals.com ... Class 4A first team all-state selection as senior ... Evansville Courier & Press Metro Player of the Year ... recorded 90 tackles, including five sacks ... timed at 4.86 in the 40-yard dash ... coach was Mike Owen.
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Joe Tiller will enter his ninth year at Purdue in fall 2005.