The top 10 players returning to the Purdue Boilermakers for the 2020 college football season.
Important to note that this list is based upon last year's data and film from on each specific team as well as judgment based upon the player's position both his skill and the level of talent around him at the said position and influential cohorts. Positional value also plays a large factor in these rankings as does the offensive or defensive scheme.
1. Rondale Moore, WR
2. David Bell, WR
3. George Karlaftis, DE
4. Cory Trice, S
5. Lorenzo Neal, DI
6. Grant Hermanns, T
7. Sam Garvin, C
8. Simeon Smiley, CB
9. Derrick Barnes, Edge Defender
10. Mark Stickford, G
Honorable Mention: Milton Wright, WR; Jackson Anthrop, WR; Anthony Watts, DI; Brennen Thieneman, S; Will Bramel, T
Moore should be back and likely better than ever, playing with a chip on his shoulder for a half-season lost. It only helps his case that Bell broke out as a true freshman in his absence a season ago. What Moore does with the ball in his hands is unparalleled and it's only made better by the fact that he can run a full route tree, is faster and stronger than almost anyone in the country and plays the ball at the high point so well for a man his size.
Bell is the same, making regular circus catches look like they're routine. Given the fact that he did the majority of his damage with him as the lone focal point a year ago, there should be no way that any defense in the country can shut down these two when they're both healthy and on the field together.
Karlaftis also had an amazing freshman season, exploding onto the scene with an incredible pass-rush set. He's got strength for days and should only get better as he improves technique over time. Karlaftis is in line for gaudy sack totals this season.
Trice, Neal and Smiley represent the next best on the defense but that's no slight to them. Neal is an NFLer and Trice flies to the ball either in coverage or against the run terrifically. Smiley is a consistently sharp cornerback with great ball skills himself.
Hermanns and Stickford stand out on the offensive line as Hermanns has the size and skills to also make the NFL leap.
Unfortunately, after we saw what happened a year ago, this team will likely only go where a quarterback with some plus-play in him will take them.