WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Four student-athletes have enrolled at Purdue University this semester and will play football for the Boilermakers. The newest Boilermakers — cornerback Michael Eargle, tight end De’Ron Flood, tight end Gabe Holmes and linebacker Will Lucas — will take part in winter conditioning and spring practice.
The 6-foot, 165-pound Eargle, from Elizabeth, N.J., comes to the Boilermakers from Lackawanna College in Pennsylvania, the same junior college that sent wide receiver Keith Carlos to Purdue a year ago. He is a three-star prospect by Rivals.com. Eargle signed with Oklahoma State in February of 2009 but did not enroll. He played cornerback and quarterback for Lackawanna in 2007 and 2008, earning team Most Valuable Player honors his second season. In 2007, he completed 20 of 37 passes (54.1 percent) for 247 yards and two touchdowns. As a senior at Elizabethtown (N.J.) High School in 2006, Eargle played for the North Jersey Section 2 Group 4 state champions. His junior college coach was Mark Duda.
The 6-4, 230-pound Flood, from O’Fallon, Ill., had a team-leading 38 receptions for 406 yards (10.7 average) and one touchdown as a senior at O’Fallon High School. His most-productive game was his last – 10 catches for 117 yards vs. East St. Louis in the quarterfinals of the Illinois Class 7A Tournament on Nov. 14. As a part-time linebacker, Flood recorded 29 tackles (13 solo, 16 assists), including two sacks. He caught 21 passes for 377 yards (18.0 average) his junior year. Flood’s coach was Brandon Joggerst.
The 6-4, 230-pound Holmes, from Miramar, Fla., signed with the Boilermakers last February but did not enroll. A year ago, he was a three-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com and ranked as the No. 27 tight end nationally by Scout.com. As a senior at Saint Thomas Aquinas High School, Holmes caught 18 passes for 480 yards (26.7 average) and three touchdowns en route to being named second team All-Broward County. He missed three games with a thigh injury. Holmes had 11 catches for 80 yards (7.3 average) his junior year. Saint Thomas Aquinas was named 2008 national champions by ESPN.com and won back-to-back 5A state championships in 2007 and 2008. Holmes’ coach was George Smith, a Purdue alum, and he played AAU basketball with fellow Boilermaker wide receiver Gary Bush.
The 6-1, 215-pound Lucas, from Lakeland, Fla., is a three-star prospect by Rivals.com. He was the Polk County Defensive Player of the Year as a senior at Lakeland High School after amassing 164 tackles (126 solo, 38 assists), including 29 for loss and 7.5 sacks. His team advanced to the Florida Class 5A state semifinals and finished with a 13-1 record. Lucas had 21 tackles, including 18 solo stops, in the regional final game vs. Fleming Island on Dec. 4. As a junior, Lucas recorded 130 tackles, including 25 for loss and four sacks, and his team advanced to the state championship game before losing to Holmes’ Saint Thomas Aquinas squad. Lucas’ coach was Bill Castle.
A year ago, Purdue had three mid-year enrollees – Dwayne Beckford, Antwon Higgs and Al-Terek McBurse – and all three saw action for the Boilermakers during the 2009 season.