There are a lot of things I like about Purdue week being so late in the summer. First off, we continue to celebrate the fact that Purdue has been to the Big Ten championship game just 8 months ago while it’s been over 2 years since Ohio State has.
One of the other things I enjoy about Purdue week being so late in the summer is that I actually have accurate information to write about. Fall camp has begun. We know who is on the Purdue roster and who has left. With that in mind, today we are going to talk about personnel changes to the Purdue offensive (and special teams) roster that occurred this past season.
6 starters have departed from Purdue’s 2022 offense in addition to another 20 players. Also departing are three special teams performers. What happened to these guys? Who is replacing them and where did they come from? Hopefully today’s article will save you from embarrassing yourself while tailgating this fall when you talk about who is returning from last season. You can also show off your knowledge by being able to answer questions like “who is that guy?”.
Apologies for all omissions and mistakes. Chat GPT did not want to write this article for me.
Where did everybody go?
Offensive Line Outgoing Players
Spencer Holstege -> UCLA
Eric Miller -> Louisville
Cam Craig -> medical retirement
Sione Finau -> Arizona State
Nalin Fox -> Retired from football?
Cross Watson -> Transfer Portal (no new home)
Jared Bycznski -> Transfer Portal (still at Purdue)
DJ Washington -> eligibility exhausted
Three starters from last year’s O-line have departed. Left guard Spencer Holstege who played an all-B1G level has departed for the sunny skies of Los Angeles and UCLA. Cam Craig has medically retired in October of last year following a back injury. Eric Miller followed Jeff Brohm and company to Louisville after spring ball had completed. I’m assuming he stuck around through spring ball to complete his degree - in which case, good for him. I don’t love that he went to Louisville, but it appears that he finished his degree and for that I applaud him.
Sione Finau has moved on to Arizona State following a single season in West Lafayette. He made one start but was part of the rotation at guard in all 14 games last year. Nalin Fox is no longer listed on the Purdue roster but I also have seen no information on him entering the transfer portal. Cross Watson and Jared Bycznski did enter the portal near the end of spring ball, but neither appear to have found new homes at this time.
DJ Washington has exhausted his eligibility after six seasons that saw him flip back and forth between the offensive and defensive lines.
Quarterback Outgoing Players
Last season Purdue had four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster. They’ve all departed for new adventures.
Aidan O’Connell -> Oakland Raiders (4th round)
Austin Burton -> eligibility exhausted
Michael Alaimo -> Kent State
Brady Allen -> Louisville
Hayden Timosciek -> Bowling Green
Purdue knew that they would need to replace their top two QBs from last season in Aidan O’Connell and Austin Burton as both were playing in their final season of college eligibility in 2022. The next two guys on the depth chart also ended up leaving though. Michael Alaimo is a former 4 star prospect from New Jersey who did not develop under Jeff Brohm’s tutelage. He made the decision to transfer after last season’s Citrus Bowl and found a home at Kent State in June and hopes that he will find his rythym under a new staff.
Brady Allen was another former 4 star prospect and considered Purdue’s 2nd highest ranked QB recruit ever (behind just Kyle Orton). Allen originally entered the portal when Hudson Card was brought in back in December. He was persuaded to stick around and competed for the backup spot throughout spring ball but was reportedly struggling to hold off the walk-ons and true freshman Ryan Browne. After spring ball he once again entered the portal and reunited with Jeff Brohm. Walkon Hayden Timosciek has transferred to Bowling Green.
Running Back Outgoing Players
King Doerue -> California
Kobe Lewis -> Florida Atlantic
Kentrell Marks -> Notre Dame College
Caleb Lahey -> Retired from football?
Will Chapman -> graduated
Doerue began last season as Purdue’s starting running back, but a calf injury limited him and Devin Mockobee grabbed the starting role once he was injured. Doerue will spend his final season in the last year of the Pac 12. Kobe Lewis has moved on again after just one year in West Lafayette. The former Central Michigan product was the third leading rusher for the Boilermakers last year with 146 yards and has headed to the sunny shores of Boca Raton. Hope he enjoys shuffleboard.
Marks is a former 3 star recruit out of Ohio. He spent last year redshirting but has transferred back home to Ohio at Notre Dame College in Cleveland. Walk-on Caleb Lahey is no longer on the roster. I’m assuming he’s stepping away from football which isn’t super uncommon for walk-ons. Lahey saw his first college action in the Citrus Bowl when he ran three times for a total of six yards. Glad he will have that memory to look back on. Walk-on Will Chapman has also departed having graduated from Purdue.
Tight End Outgoing Players
Payne Durham -> Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5th round)
Charlie Kenrich-> Transfer Portal (no new home)
Last year’s starting tight end has moved onto the NFL after a successful senior season. Over his career at Purdue, Durham had 126 catches for 1275 yards and 21 touchdowns. Those 21 touchdowns are second most by a tight end at Purdue.
Also departing is the redshirt freshman Charlie Kenrich. Kenrich played in one game last season and from what I’ve been able to find has not been able to find a new home since entering the portal in April. Hopefully he finds his footing somewhere.
Wide Receiver Outgoing Players
Charlie Jones -> Cincinnati Bengals (4th round)
Broc Thompson -> medical retirement
Collin Sullivan -> Transfer Portal (no new home)
Preston Terrell -> Retired?
Camdyn Childers -> Findley
Alex Maxwell -> graduated
Jones spent just one year at Purdue but made the most of it by setting the school record for receiving yards in a season at 1361 and leading the nation in receptions with 110. He was carted off the field at Bengals training camp last week with a shoulder injury but is considered day-to-day. Broc Thompson received less promising medical news a few months back. After destroying Tennessee fans hopes and dreams with 217 yards in the 2021 Music City Bowl, Thompson underwent knee surgery on both knees. After setbacks Thompson was only able to play in two games during the 2022 season. Broc is set to be a student assistant with the Boilermakers this upcoming season and hopes to get into coaching in the future.
Collin Sullivan and Preston Terrell were expected to compete for spots on the two deeps this season after spending their first couple of seasons mostly as depth pieces on the roster. Sullivan however entered the portal at the conclusion of spring ball in May and Terrell is no longer listed on the roster. It would appear that Sullivan has not found a new home while Terrell may have retired from football.
Walk-on receivers Camdyn Childers and Alex Maxwell have also moved on. Childers has transferred to Findley after appearing mostly on special teams while at Purdue. Maxwell played in all 14 games last year. Most of that was on special teams but he also made two receptions including a 20 yarder against LSU. He has graduated.
*Milton Wright was not on the roster last year due to academic issues. He had been kicked out of school for a year due to academics. Although there were rumors that he was attempting to get back in this spring he was unsuccessful. He then entered the transfer portal but was again unable to land a spot. Wright ended up entering the NFL supplemental draft, went undrafted, and is now with the Los Angeles Chargers.
Special Teams Outgoing Players
Kicker Mitchell Fineran -> eligibility exhausted
Kicker Chris Van Eekeren -> Temple
Long Snapper Nick Zecchino -> eligibility exhausted
Fineran departs after two years as an extremely reliable place kicker for the Boilermakers. He will be missed by anxious Boilermakers everywhere who enjoyed being able to count on him. Van Eekeren has transferred to Temple after splitting time at the kickoff specialist last year. Starting long snapper Nick Zecchino has graduated. We’ve never talked about Zecchino the past few years which is a sign of a great long snapper. No major errors.
The next All-B1G Offensive Linemen
Jalen Grant (senior from Bowling Green)
Luke Griffin (senior from Missouri)
Preston Nichols (graduate transfer from UNLV)
Ben Farrell (graduate transfer from Indiana Wesleyan)
Austin Johnson (junior from Colorado)
Bakyne Coly (JUCO from Lawrence Tech)
Jimmy Liston (true freshman)
Ethan Trent (walk-on true freshman)
Tom Ewing (walk-on true freshman)
The offensive line needed some reinforcements after Jeff Brohm neglected it just a little and the departures of several players left massive depth issues in their wake. Jalen Grant is a guard from Bowling Green, who started for the Falcons last season. He should be able to lock down a starting spot for the Boilermakers this season. Griffin transfers in from Missouri, following his former O-line coach. Griffin was more productive in 2021 than 2022, but was still in the rotation for the Tigers last year. He projects more as a guard than as a tackle for the Boilermakers.
Preston Nichols was the starting left guard for the Rebels (dumb team nickname by the way) last season, but spent the previous three seasons as a offensive tackle for Charleston Southern. I don’t think he kicks back outside to the tackle spot, but don’t rule it out. Ben Farrell makes a big jump up in competition level coming from the NAIA. He was a tackle there, but the staff reportedly wants to move him inside to a guard spot. Austin Johnson was the last transfer O-lineman that the Boilermakers picked up this summer. He has the ability to play center, giving Purdue some additional options there.
Coly is a huge 6’7” and athletic talent but very raw. He did not play football in high school and is still relatively new to the sport. As a JUCO transfer he has a few years of eligibility and Purdue will look to develop him for next year.
Jimmy Liston is the lone incoming scholarship freshman offensive lineman. At 6’3” 290 pounds he looks the part, but will likely redshirt this season. He’s joined by two freshman walk-ons in Ethan Trent and Tom Ewing. For those of you who didn’t know, Ethan is the younger brother of former Purdue student Tyler Trent and selected a preferred walk-on position at Purdue over a scholarship offer from Indiana State. Who is cutting onions in here?
The next All-B1G Quarterbacks
Hudson Card (from Texas)
Bennet Meredith (from Arizona State)
Ryan Browne (early enrollee)
Jake Wilson (true freshman)
Following the departure of the entire QB room, Ryan Walters and Graham Harrell have brought in four new QBs to replace them. Hudson Card is the big get out of Texas. He has narrowly missed winning the starter job there the last two seasons but has performed very well in spot duty with 11 touchdowns to just 1 interception and a completion rate hovering near 70%. Card was the first major target for Walters and he landed him in no small part by picking him and his family up from their visit to the Illini and driving them to Purdue.
Bennet Meredith is a former three star recruit who redshirted at Arizona State last year. He transferred in after spring ball but is expected to compete with Browne for the backup spot. Ryan Browne is a three star recruit who enrolled early after sticking to his Purdue commitment through the coaching change. The incoming staff appears high on Browne’s long term potential and he appeared to beat Brady Allen out during spring ball. The final QB newcomer is Jake Wilson, a very late walk-on who was set to attend North Texas before the Purdue coaching staff gave him a preferred walk-on spot.
The next All-B1G Running Backs
Christian Womack (true freshman)
Bishop Johnson (from Army)
Christian Womack gained a late scholarship offer from the Boilermakers in the spring and jumped at the offer. Despite leading Texas’s 6A division in yardage last season (Texas high school football’s biggest division by the way), he went underrecruited and may end up being a hidden gem. I have no idea why he didn’t get offers from other schools.
Bishop Johnson has transferred in from West Point as a walk-on. The Lafayette native will join the running back room with a chance to provide depth.
The next All-B1G Tight Ends
George Burhenn (true freshman)
Burhenn is the lone incoming tight end for the Boilermakers but perhaps the offensive freshman most likely see the field as he’s supposedly really impressed the coaching staff. Burhenn should be ready when it comes to running routes and catching the ball but may need to add strength to become an effective blocker.
The next All-B1G Wide Receivers
Jahmal Edrine (from Florida Atlantic)
Jayden Dixon-Veal (from College of San Mateo - JUCO)
Ryne Shackelford (true freshman)
Jaron Tibbs (true freshman)
Arhmad Branch (true freshman)
Maddix Bogunia-Bright (true freshman)
Luke Jones (true freshman)
Andrew Adkison (true freshman)
Nolan Buckman (true freshman)
Last year Edrine played for the Owls of FAU starting nine games and collecting 570 yards to go along with 6 touchdowns as a freshman. He must have enjoyed his road game in West Lafayette because he made the decision to transfer in this offseason. Dixon-Veal was committed to Oregon State but in June flipped to the Boilermakers. His stat line at San Mateo was limited due to them being a run heavy offense, but Purdue beat out offers from Illinois, UConn, San Diego State, Temple, UNLV, and the aforementioned Oregon State.
Three wide receivers were part of Purdue’s recruiting class. Arhmad Branch is the lone 4 star recruit in the class and although he was originally listed as an athlete who might play WR or CB, he is now listed as just a WR on the Purdue roster. Jaron Tibbs and Ryne Shackelford join him as freshman. I would expect all three to redshirt just due to the depth in front of them, but that might change with Edrine’s injury.
Bogunia-Bright arrives at Purdue after spending last year at a prep school. Luke Jones committed as a preferred walk-on back in March. Luke is the younger brother of Charlie Jones and spent his senior year of high school at a prep school in Massachusetts. The other two walk-on freshman are Andrew Adkison and Nolan Buckman.
What about Corey Gammage? The former Marshall star wide receiver flipped his commitment from Memphis to Purdue in May but in June flipped his commitment again. He will be playing for UCF in the Big 12 this season (unless he changes his plans again).
The next All-B1G Special Teams
Long snapper Daniel Hawthorne (from Missouri)
Kicker Iain Ramage (walk-on)
Daniel Hawthorne has transferred in from Mizzou after being their starting long snapper last year. He follows his offensive line coach and is expected to compete for the starting job at Purdue.
Iain Ramage joins the roster after a successful showing at a special teams camp on campus this summer.
The stars of the offense (other than Devin Mockobee) have departed. The new staff has brought in a ton of new players and added depth particularly at the offensive guard spots. It’s hard to not like what Walters and Harrell have attempted to do with the offensive roster on short notice.
Oh, you guys know you can leave comments on the site instead of reaching out to me on the Discord, right? Right?
Biggest loss from last year’s Purdue offense?
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Most important newcomer for Purdue’s offense in 2023?
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