The Purdue coaching staff made a wave of in-state offers in the 2015 class on Friday, and one went out to the state's top-ranked junior - Indianapolis (Ind.) Lawrence Central's Darrin Kirkland Jr.
"I called Coach [Jon] Heacock and he was the one who officially offered me the scholarship," Kirkland said. "It was very satisfying being able to get another in-state [offer], especially in the Big Ten and from another school close to home."
Being an in-state program, Kirkland said he followed the Boilermakers growing up. He likes what the future holds under head coach Darrell Hazell, and was encouraged by the commitment they showed to in-state talent by offering several of the state's top juniors on Friday.
"A lot of my friends got offered yesterday by Purdue, so it was very exciting for all us to have that same opportunity," Kirkland said. "I talked to Mykelti Williams and talked with Jared Thomas. I'm just excited for those guys."
Purdue was one of the schools that Kirkland visited this past season for a home football game.
"I went up there for the Purdue-Notre Dame game and they competed well that day," Kirkland said. "I just want to get back up there and see more of what they have to offer. They haven't scheduled any [junior days] yet, but they definitely want me to come back after this dead period. I will try to be up there relatively soon."
The offer from Purdue joins previous offers from the likes of Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Louisville, Northwestern, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech. He has not identified any favorites, and is keeping his options open with more than 13 months before he will sign a letter of intent.
"Right now I am going to just be patient because it is still relatively early for me," Kirkland said. "Going into the spring is when it is going to pick up even more. Sometime in the beginning of the summer or end of summer I will start narrowing down, then hopefully before my senior season I will be able to make a decision."
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Kirkland is rated as the No. 169 player in the country and the No. 5 inside linebacker prospect nationally. He finished his junior season with 110 tackles, 7.5 sacks, an interception, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.