The dismissal of Danny Hope as Purdue's head football coach put Boilermaker's quarterback commit Danny Etling's plans on hold, but things are starting back up again after the school announced it had hired Darrell Hazell on Wednesday.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Etling had many ties to Purdue and committed to the Boilermakers back in April. He was planning on enrolling early before Hope was dismissed last month.
"At first I was saying I was going to sit back and wait until they hired a coach," Etling said. "Now that they have hired Coach Hazell I plan to get in touch with him as soon as possible and see what his plans are. With a new coach I don't know if I am going to be accepted there or if he still wants me. A big deal with me is I don't just want to inherit the scholarship I had… I want to earn the scholarship.
Article Continues Below
"So, I want to talk with him and make sure I am his guy and everything stands in that aspect before I graduate early."
Etling has not been completely in the dark during the coaching transition. Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke encouraged each of the commitments to contact him personally if they had any questions, and player personnel director Kevin Maurice maintained the Boilermaker's recruiting efforts over the last week and a half.
"Coach Maurice came and gave me an in-home visit last week," Etling said. "He has been really helpful throughout this whole process, so I really hope they keep him."
Prior to his commitment to Purdue, Etling had received scholarship offers from Colorado, Iowa and Wisconsin. In the aftermath of Hope's dismissal, the four-star quarterback's phone started ringing again.
"I didn't call them; I just let them call me because I didn't want to be a guy who was using Purdue to go somewhere else. I wanted to make sure they had the first dibs because I was still committed there. I listened to them, and if it doesn't work out with Purdue I am definitely going to try and visit those other schools and see what is in store for me there.
Before any other schools would come into play, though, Etling is intent on determining his future with Purdue and looks forward to his impending talk with Hazell.
"I am very excited to talk to Coach Hazell. I have been kind of in limbo this past week, so now I have a course of action I can take," Etling said. "I am pretty much going to ask him where he sees me fitting in, if he still wants for me to be the guy for him at Purdue, what his offensive strategy is and just kind of feel it out."
Etling lives less than two hours from Purdue's West Lafayette campus, so an unofficial visit in the coming weeks is very doable. He has already taken his official visit to the school, and it coincidentally came the same weekend Hope was fired. The former Boilermaker's head coach informed the four-star quarterback of the news just as the official visit was wrapping up.
"It was a great experience and made me want to go to Purdue, but the ending was a little bit of a cliffhanger," Etling commented.
Etling is the highest ranked player in Purdue's 2013 class, checking in as the No. 12 pro-style quarterback in the country and the No. 200 player overall.