Purdue is “Negatively Recruiting” Another Top Gopher Football Commit and They’re Not Hiding It

Photo: Frank Oliver - The Journal & Courier


What is “Negative Recruiting”? I like the way reddit user, neovenator250, laid it out with some generic “negative recruiting” phrases.

1) “Don’t you want to play for a coach who will be at your school for your whole career?” That coach is going to the NFL at the first chance he gets”

2) “He’s lying to you. He’s recruiting you to his school, but haven’t you heard that he’s interviewing tomorrow at…”

3) “When was the last time that coach/school put someone in the NFL at your position? it’s been a LONG time. They’re not good enough to get you there”

4) “If you go to South Carolina, you’ll be pumping gas for a living after 4 years” -Lane Kiffin



Yeah, that last one is a real comment made by Lane Kiffin. He was coaching at Tennessee and recruiting Alshon Jeffrey. It’s probably the highest profile case of “negative recruiting” on record. The practice itself, though, is all too common around college recruiting circles. “Negative Recruiting” is the art of bashing other coaches and teams, to turn a recruiting battle in your favor.

Love Letters From Purdue

So when Purdue University’s Director of Player Personnel, Eron Hodges, posted this to his instagram story on Monday, Gopher fans were expectedly triggered. This letter is written to Minnesota commit (4-star RB), Mar’Keise Irving.


I DON’T KNOW WHAT MORE I CAN DO, SAY, OR SHOW YOU TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS THE BEST PLACE FOR YOU. MENTALLY, ACADEMICALLY, SOCIALLY & ATHLETICALLY. THE LOVE I GOT FOR YOU IS UNREAL. YOU ARE LEGIT THE RB THAT I’VE ALWAYS WANTED HERE. I GOT YOUR BACK FOR LIFE NO MATTER IF IT’S BOILER UP OR SKI-WHATEVER THE FUCK!! WE FAM & I JUST WANT WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU. – ERON AKA GODFATHER



Classic Brohm

Let’s just say, this type of thing isn’t considered “rare” around the Jeff Brohm program. The letter itself wouldn’t shock those who follow CFB recruiting closely. There’s a reason he signs it “Godfather” (lol). Sharing it on your instagram story for the whole world to see? Well, that’s something new for any program using negative recruiting tactics. Also… what professional says “fuck” in a letter they are writing to a high school kid?

Anyway, that letter made it’s rounds on Gopher football message boards and social media, Monday. Irving is a top-5 Minnesota 2021 recruit. It’s not just going to slide by unnoticed.

The story doesn’t stop at Irving, though. This goes further back than that. Do you remember Sam Jackson? Some Gopher football fans might. Sam was a part of the 2021 Minnesota Gophers class… twice. He was one of the first to row the 2021 boat, committing to the Gophers back in February of 2019. Jackson would go on to de-commit, re-commit, and then de-commit again. He flipped to Purdue after decommitting the last time, and now they’re trying to do the same with Irving.

Why Did Jackson Flip?

Jackson flipped because he wants to play quarterback. PJ Fleck has already committed to his QB of the future, Athan Kaliakmanis. Fleck promised to give Jackson a chance to compete at QB but most expected him to land at CB or WR. Fleck was honest about his plans for Jackson and that’s why we’ve seen him waffle.

It’s an easier path to QB at Purdue. Jackson is the only QB they have coming in for the 2021 class. Hell, he’s by-far the highest rated commit they have for 2021. But rumors have still been floating recently, that may indicate Purdue’s intentions are to play Jackson at defensive back, not QB. This is from Rivals.com guy, Josh Helmholdt.


Josh Helmholdt – Rivals.com

There was some legitimate consternation inside of the Sam Jackson camp, after this recruiting update was posted by Rivals.com. That could have been expected. What would have been harder to predict, was Purdue DPP Eron Hodges tweeting this in response. Whoa.



WWE College Football

If Eron Hodges wants to turn college football recruiting into outside the ring WWE…. I am 100% here for it. Irving isn’t going anywhere. He was just seen working out with 2021 QB commit, (the aforementioned) Athan Kaliakmanis. Negative recruiting doesn’t work. The real ones want competition. They know that nothing in life worth a damn, comes guaranteed.

Purdue can whisper whatever they want into Sam Jackson’s ear. He isn’t going to play QB for them. They’re in it for the talent and they’re willing to say whatever it takes to get Sam in uniform. That’s what Brohm’s staff does.

Since posting what you see in the photo above, Helmholdt (Rivals.com guy) has changed Jackson’s recruited position for Purdue, from “defensive back” to “quarterback”. It’s almost as if, after Hodges’ tweet, the words were changed in Helmholdt’s blog… But, it would be unprofessional for me to accuse a CFB reporter of being in some University’s pocket.

Eric Strack and Max Carroll | Minnesota Sports Fan