Purdue Football: 2022 Roster – Quarterback – Aidan O’Connell, Austin Burton, Michael Alaimo-Brady Allen


I waited to start this series of articles because the other teams I cover (Clemson and K-State) are losing players on the portal, probably as I type. I want to finish them by the bowl game, mainly because people always care about Purdue football. I think you will all have another sport to focus on after the football season is over. I understand that the basketball team has real potential this season.

The quarterback is the obvious starting point for any Purdue team. When Jeff Brohm has a settled quarterback situation, wins add up. The problem is, the quarterback’s situation at Purdue isn’t usually resolved until mid-October. The competition is great, but it would definitely be nice if this thing was done and dusted off before the leaves start to change color in 2022.

Here’s what the Purdue quarterback situation looks like at the moment (subject to a transfer portal change)

Aidan O’Connell

To classify: Sr (recruiting class 2017 … yes I know he was a replacement)

Eligibility remaining: 1 season to play 1

Statistics Aidan O’Connell 2021

263 363 72.7 2,900 8 19 8 15 152.8

If O’Connell comes back

O’Connell settles the question of the quarterback’s situation at Purdue by Jan. 1 if he decides to use his “Covid year” of eligibility. Boilermakers with a clear QB1 before Spring Camp would give Jeff Brohm the opportunity to perfect his offense instead of spending time setting it up. Jack Plummer jumped into the portal, leaving O’Connell as the clear starter (although he was going to be the clear starter anyway). If he returns, the Boilermaker offense could start in 2021, instead of finding its way later in the season. Even with David Bell leaving, Purdue could have his most dynamic offense of the Brohm era with an experienced and alive armed quarterback like O’Connell pulling the strings in 2022.

If O’Connell leaves for the NFL

I think he’ll be back, but if a guy like O’Connell was looking to throw his name out in the NFL Draft, this would be the year. The quarterback position is as thin as the hair above my head in this project and O’Connell’s arm paired with his gunslinger mentality could be intriguing, probably not in the first round, but after that, who knows. He’s still as mobile as my 16-year-old blind arthritis lab with neural degeneration in his hind legs (please Jeff never throw that stealth QB you tried against IU ever again), and this will stand against him. , but Mac Jones is built (and runs) like an insurance agent and he seems to be doing well in the NFL.

Believe me, I’m just as shocked to write about O’Connell’s potential in the NFL as you read him, but he put on a show in the second half of the season and he can make all the throws of the season. NFL. Stranger things have happened, remember, the Giants made Daniel Jones a first-round pick after throwing for 2,674 yards with a 60% completion percentage as a senior at Duke.

If he leaves, Purdue is in good shape with the guys I’m going to cover next or the potential to add someone from the portal, but the quarterback position will be wide open again as spring approaches and looms large. The offense is likely to take a step back in 2022. Brohm doesn’t have a good track record of picking the best quarterback for his out-of-camp attack. It would be nice to take that decision away from him this season.

If he leaves Purdue, he has four other options (for now).

Austin burton

To classify: Sr (recruiting class 2017)

Eligibility: 1 season to play 1 (if he wants)


I’ll skip the fancy board. Burton attempted 7 passes and completed 5 for 44 yards. He ran 38 yards on 13 carries.

If O’Connell stays

Burton has a decision to make. He can choose to stay and give Purdue something different as a quarterback. He could jump in the portal, go down one level (ie G5 from FCS) and start as a super senior, or he could decide to be one of the 99% of student-athletes who go pro in something other than their sport. O’Connell staying isn’t the worst thing in the world for Burton because there can always be change. In fact, Aidan’s return would give Brohm a chance to add to the offense instead of installing an offense in the spring. In theory, that means he could spend more time developing the Austin Burton package. I know everyone wants 1 quarterback, but if you go into a season with a plan to use 2 quarterbacks and implement that plan, that’s usually a good thing.

If O’Connell leaves

The initial work is wide open. I’m not sure I like Burton’s chance to win the job. I scratched my head when he transferred to the program because his skills don’t match what Brohm usually does on offense. Austin came from an offense that involved the RPO, and that’s not something Boilermakers do very often. For RPO to work, the running part of the equation needs to be presented, and that is not what the Brohm Brothers presented during their tenure at Purdue.

Even if he doesn’t win the starting position, I still think he could be an important piece in the 2022 squad. His running ability could still be used if Purdue makes a transfer or rolls with one of the youngsters. quarters of the list. This is a good change for the Purdue system, and the change is elusive.

Michel Alaimo

To classify: Jr (recruiting class 2020)

Eligibility: 4 seasons to play 4 (2020 Covid, 2021 RS)

Statistics: Nothing

If O’Connell stays

If Aidan stays, Alaimo has a decision to make. I don’t have any inside information, but you must be thinking the portal would be tempting for a guy heading into year 3 of a program, with 4 years of eligibility remaining and no path to starting employment. Again, I’m unfamiliar with his life, and he might just fight for the backup job in 2022 and position himself to start in the Brohm offense for Season 3 (potentially). It would be better for Purdue as a program, and probably better for Alaimo as a player (depending on other options available).

If O’Connell leaves

It would have to be Alaimo’s job to win. He’s the kind of big, fat cocked quarterback who thrived in the Brohm system. The former 6’4 “, 225 consensus 4 * quarterback needed time to adjust to the transition from New Jersey high school football to Big12 football. He had 2 years of practice to figure it out. he wins the job, I would expect a season of ups and downs, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he got pulled out in a few games. That seems to be the Brohm method when it comes to quarterbacks. Purdue is not losing anything. in his passing game on the field, but loses a ton of experience and decision-making. It took a long time for O’Connell to figure out when to attack on the field and when to throw the ball into the Brohm system, but once he figured it out he took off. Alaimo I guess would have to go through the same maturing process on the pitch.

Brady allen

To classify: Fr (recruiting class 2022)

Eligibility: 5 seasons to play 4

Statistics: Nothing

If O’Connell stays

The 6’5 “, 210-pound 4 * freshman red shirts dig deep into the playbook and get ready for the big 2022 QB competition.

If O’Connell leaves

Chances are he’s still in a red shirt with Alaimo and Burton still on the list (I guess both would remain Aidan sheets). That could change if the loser of the Alaimo vs Burton QB competition decides to leave. There is also an outside shot where Allen wins the starting station. It would be tough to beat the more experienced Burton and Alaimo, but it’s not like either had much quarterfielder experience in the Purdue offense. They would be further along in the playbook, but with O’Connell and Plummer consuming a large chunk of the workout shots, you wonder how much “development” has gone on with either, in terms installation of the playbook. Sure, in theory, they’ll know the playbook, but knowing the playbook and running the playbook are two different beasts. If he’s coming for spring training and establishing himself as the most talented quarterback on the roster, there’s nothing stopping him from landing the job at fall camp.

Transfer portal

If O’Connell stays

The gate door remains closed.

If O’Connell leaves

Purdue is suddenly becoming one of America’s top transfer destinations. If you’re a quarterback and want a shot at pitching him 40+ times per game, Jeff Brohm is your blueberry.

I won’t even start throwing names around until it becomes necessary (and I’m 90% sure I won’t), but keep this idea deep in your brain. A one-year rental would be attractive. That would likely eliminate 1, if not both, of the return quarterbacks, which would be a bet, but Brohm has to get the right quarterback position, and if that means hurting certain feelings, the feelings have to be hurt.


I spent quite a bit of time thinking about what would happen if O’Connell left, and it’s probably wasted time. I think he’ll be back as Captain of the Boilermakers next year. In case he leaves for the NFL (still feels very weird typing that), Purdue and Jeff Brohm have a myriad of options, and the blog’o’sphere will have a lot to say over the next 9 months.


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