Purdue's Elite Camp was held last night, and one of the prospects that was close to an offer was Mishawaka (IN) Marian offensive lineman Kirk Barron. Sure enough that offer came and Barron accepted on the spot, giving the Boilermakers their third commitment in the class of 2013. We take a look at Barron's recruitment and what he could provide the people of West Lafayette over the coming years.
Junior season highlights of Purdue commit Kirk Barron
247Sports Ranking: 81 three-star rating; #19 center; #13 prospect in Indiana
247Sports Composite: 81 three-star rating; #20 center; #16 prospect in Indiana
Background: The Boilermakers hosted Barron on a number of visits over the past year. He camped at Purdue last summer, he visited for multiple games at Ross-Ade Stadium last season and he took in a spring practice in late March. Despite his interest and trips to schools like Kansas, Minnesota, Purdue, TCU and Wisconsin, Barron did not receive any BCS-level offers. In early May, Barron committed to the Ohio Bobcats.
However Barron participated at the Purdue Linemen Camp last Saturday and impressed the coaching staff and onlookers. Another camp visit in West Lafayette on the following Friday gave all the staff needed to give Barron an offer he would jump on with a commitment. With a number of hugs, Barron was welcomed into the Boilermaker family.
Offers: Barron had offers from Ball State, Massachusetts and Ohio. Purdue was his first and only BCS-level offer. A number of other BCS-level programs were interested in the offensive lineman, Minnesota probably being the most intrigued of those schools.
Tape: He is a road-grater, but he has surprising mobility. Barron is best in run blocking situations where he regularly takes his man ten-plus yards downfield. His agility and quickness, as an offensive lineman, benefits him as a pulling guard in reaching the second level of the defense.
Center is difficult to project because the vast majority of offensive linemen that do play center in college were either tackles or guards in high school. The same is true with Barron, though he has played center this spring in camp environments. The added assignment of snapping the ball will slow the learning curve as he adjusts to the college game. Centers are typically assigned the duty of calling out line adjustments, so the knowledge of the game itself will be a factor in how Barron performs at Purdue.
When He Arrives: Most offensive linemen take the first year on campus to develop physically and take a redshirt year. Barron will come into an interesting position due to Purdue losing a high number of senior offensive linemen and only one linemen being brought in the last class. There is also a need for another body at center.
Barron is ready to represent his home state as a Boilermaker
There are two listed centers on the roster, and both are seniors. Cody Davis and Henry Lorenzen will be leaving the Purdue program, but it is redshirt sophomore Robert Kugler who is really manning that post. Kugler has shown versatility in being able to play any of the three interior line positions. With no proven centers, at this time, behind Kugler, Barron could potentially see a slot in the two-deep be there for the taking.
Recruiting Impact: Coach Hazell wants to put a recruiting emphasis on the state of Indiana. He has offered a number of in-state prospects, but Barron is the first one to accept the scholarship. This is a great first in-state get as Barron speaks of the honor of representing his home state at the next level.
Purdue only signed one offensive lineman in the class of 2013. Hazell and his staff will need to accumulate a solid number along the offensive side of the trenches to keep a healthy number on the roster. Barron is a great start as he is being recruited as a center, one of the tougher positions to project from high school to college. He is also versatile enough to play at guard if need be.