We've heard Morgan Burke, Joe Tiller and the media all tell us that the Tiller-Hope transition is a model of how a coach should go out and other should come in. But, recruits might not agree with that assessment.
As of today, here's how the Big Ten football verbal commitments look:
2 verbals (2x****)
2 verbals (***, ****)
9 verbals (*****, 5 x ****, 2 x ***)
7 verbals (6 x ****, ***)
5 verbals (****, 4 x ***)
2 verbals (2 x ***)
17 verbals (*****, 12 x ****, 4 x ***)
12 verbals (3 x ****, 7 x ***)
5 verbals (2 x ****, 3 x ***)
So, Purdue is on the same footing as IU (whoopty-doo)...everybody else in the league, from Northwestern to aOSU (of course) have all convinced at least a couple kids from the class of '09 to lean their way. Granted, we're eight months from signing day...a lot can happen and 18 year olds are a fickle bunch. But, this isn't the best possible start to the Hope era...This surely isn't a running start for Hope and Co, it might not even be a walking start.
I'm not taking anything away from Hope- he's targeting quite a few high-level recruits, but we're not really leading in any of these kids minds.
Unless the upcoming season is a rousing success, Hope's first recruiting class might be less-than-stellar. Furthermore, with the loss of a four-year starter at QB, a three-year starting WR, two very experienced RBs, both three year starter defensive linemen and an established MLB, Hope's odds of initial success look long. And, this coaching transition might be much bumpier than some have told us it will be.