There were more offers coming for Elijah Sindelar. The four-star quarterback’s recruitment was just beginning, and could have run to more than 20 offers before Signing Day in 2015.
It’s just not Sindelar’s style to pick a hat on national television. That’s why he made the early pick of Purdue on Tuesday afternoon.
“I knew where I wanted to go when I stepped onto Purdue’s campus the second or third time,” Sindelar said. “I didn’t want to be a guy to drag it out when I already know where I’m going, then hang a school out to dry. I wanted to pick my school and let others find their quarterback while it’s still early.”
For a Purdue program that has been victimized by flip-flopping recruits, this is a breath of fresh air.
Sindelar, a native of Princeton, Kentucky, picked Purdue over early offers from Kentucky, Mississippi and more. Schools like Alabama, Florida State, Louisville, Ohio State, Tennessee and UCLA were beginning to show heavy interest. The Boilermakers got their top overall prospect for the 2015 class.
There was no doubt for Sindelar that West Lafayette was where he wanted to be. It all came down to the hometown feel.
“It feels like a small town, which is what I like,” Sindelar said. “The engineering [program] is phenomenal. It’s everything I wanted. It just felt like home. I knew that’s where I wanted to be.”
The Boilermakers were able to sell that close-to-home feel with the leadership of assistant coach Gerad Parker, the Kentucky native who headed up Sindelar’s recruitment. Parker was the first major-conference coach to find the quarterback in his small town of just over 6,000.
Sindelar and Parker built a close bond, which started in Kentucky and made its way up to West Lafayette.
“We have a very good relationship,” said Sindelar. “He’s a great guy, I like talking to him. He got me started to get me up to campus. Since I got up there and saw it, it’s what sold me.”
At Purdue, Sindelar is likely to become the fourth Elite 11 quarterback on the depth chart. When he arrives on campus in 2015, he’ll have to compete with sophomores Danny Etling and Austin Appleby, plus incoming freshman David Blough, who’s likely to redshirt this season.
There’s no guarantee that Sindelar will become the Boilermakers starter, not with a loaded depth chart. But he’s up for the challenge of winning the job.
“No matter where I would’ve gone, there was going to be competition,” Sindelar said. “Competition doesn’t scare me away. I’ll have to compete no matter what. I hope that one day, I’ll get my shot.”
But being a quarterback at Purdue was one of the greatest draws. Sindelar is well versed in the program’s ‘Cradle of Quarterbacks’ tradition.
“It’s definitely an honor,” Sindelar said. “I just want to be able to live up to that. I want to give it 120 percent. I hope that one day, I’ll be as good as the other quarterbacks that came through.”
With Sindelar, Purdue’s 2015 recruiting class is off to a strong start—less than a week after Signing Day for the 2014 recruits.
Sindelar will now serve as the Boilermakers’ lead recruiter, looking to build a special class.
“It’s pretty cool,” he said. “What I like about it is that I feel like I’m the one leading this class. It’s my duty to get other kids in the class.”
The recruitment is over, and Sindelar is all in with Purdue.