WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue football program has five new student-athletes that enrolled for the spring semester today. The group is made up of three junior college transfers and a pair of players that graduated early from high school. Considered part of the 2017 recruiting class, the group includes two offensive linemen, a wide receiver, cornerback and defensive end.
Wide receiver Tyler Hamilton enrolled early after graduating from Hilton Head (S.C.) High School. Rated as a four-star recruit by ESPN, Hamilton is the all-time school leader with 45 career touchdowns. As a senior, he played both running back and receiver, rushing for 634 yards and five touchdowns while catching 32 passes for 610 yards (19.1 average) and five TDs. He added two more touchdowns on kick returns in 2016, including a 90-yard return for a TD on the opening kickoff of the season against Stall High School.
Defensive end Kai Higgins played just one season at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, California, and will have three years of eligibility remaining. In his lone year of junior college play, the 6-foot-4, 245-pound sophomore tallied 25 tackles, 14 solo, with three sacks in nine games. He is a native of Pomona, California, and went to high school at Bishop Amat.
A 6-foot-3, 260-pound offensive lineman, Jalen Jackson enrolled early at Purdue after graduating from McEachern High School in Powder Spring, Georgia. As a senior, Jackson was named all-region for 3-AAAAAAA in a vote by the coaches and second team all-state by the Georgia Sports Writers Association. McEachern advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2016 Class AAAAAAA playoffs and finished the season 11-2 overall.
T.J. Jallow played the last two seasons at East Mississippi Community College. A 6-foot-2, 205-pound cornerback from Olive Branch, Mississippi, he recorded 43 tackles, 39 solo, with 2.5 tackles for loss, seven PBUs and a fumble recovered in 11 games in 2016. After dropping their opener, the Lions won 11 consecutive games to finish the season 11-1. Victories in 2016 included a 36-30 triumph over Northwest Mississippi in the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges championship game and a 27-17 win against Kilgore in the Mississippi Bowl. Jallow had 24 tackles and an interception as a freshman in 2015. He is rated as a four-start recruit by ESPN.
Ethan Smart, a 6-foot-6, 290-pound offensive lineman from Southaven, Mississippi, joins the Boilermakers after two seasons at Northeast Mississippi Community College. The Tigers finished the 2016 season 6-3, and Smart blocked for an offense that average 366.1 yards of total offense. Smart's signing helps shore up a position of need for Purdue, as the Boilermakers graduated three starters from their 2016 line.
National signing day for high school prospects is Feb. 1.
|Tyler Hamilton||Fr.||WR||5-9||168||Hilton Head, S.C./Hilton Head|
|Kai Higgins||So.||DE||6-4||245||Pomona, Calif./Chaffey College|
|Jalen Jackson||Fr.||OL||6-3||260||Powder Spring, Ga./McEachern|
|T.J. Jallow||Jr.||CB||6-2||205||Olive Branch, Miss./East Mississippi C.C.|
|Ethan Smart||Jr.||OL||6-6||290||Southaven, Miss/Northeast Mississippi C.C.|