National signing day has come and gone, which means we can begin to fully evaluate the recruiting haul each team collected. This week on the Big Ten blog, we’re looking at which player or position group has the potential to make an instant impact for each conference team in 2017.
Up next: Purdue
Player: T.J. Jallow
Jeff Brohm isn’t planning on relying on the junior college ranks much in the future, but given the pressing concern in the secondary and his previous relationship with one of the best defensive backs at that level, bringing in Jallow fit the bill as an exception in his first class with the program.
For all of the struggles the Boilermakers endured defensively last season, Leroy Clark was something of a bright spot at safety as he finished second on the team in tackles while also coming up with a pair of turnovers. But he won’t be around for Brohm’s first year, which leaves a critical role that Jallow could potentially fill right away after he switched his commitment from Louisville to Purdue and wound up as the highest-rated player in the class thanks to his four-star rating.
At a minimum, he’ll be expected to provide some depth for a relatively thin position group. But in bringing in a junior college product, Brohm is clearly anticipating Jallow will be capable of more than that.
“In the secondary, we wanted to get some help,” Brohm said on signing day. “We think he’ll be an outstanding player for us. He’s a strong young man, he’s played quite a bit.
“I think he’ll step in immediately and provide competition vying for that spot.”
After finishing No. 13 in the league in total defense, safety obviously won’t be the only position up for grabs as Brohm gets to work on his rebuild. But it looks like the Boilermakers might have one ready-made solution already in the fold from his first class.