There is no good reason that Minnesota cannot run just like Wisconsin can. I keep that note next to the newspaper clipping of Ivan Drago I keep on my mirror. It keeps me going on days where I feel P.J.…
There is no good reason that Minnesota cannot run just like Wisconsin can. I keep that note next to the newspaper clipping of Ivan Drago I keep on my mirror. It keeps me going on days where I feel P.J. Fleck just doesn’t get how to take advantage of the Minnesota lineman pipeline. He’s done quite a bit to quench my concerns with this signing.
I’d first heard of Purcell late last fall as he first started heating up as a Gopher prospect. A few guys have received that dubious distinction so I thought nothing of it. As the winter progressed, however, I came to realize Purcell was a different animal than most. His fluidity as a defender, really as a player, at his size was certainly interesting to say the least. But it was his toughness and effort that really stood out play after play. Personally speaking, Purcell is the archetype for the rural Minnesota recruit. Big, sorta goofy looking and totally in love with football and the Gophers. Here’s hoping more outstate Ma’s and Pa’s breed big, bad white boys to wear the Maroon and Gold. Read on to see why.
Logan Purcell – OL – 6’7” 250 – Annandale HS
Big, burly athlete with length and strength for days. Pretty lean right now but moves smoothly for such a tall player, especially on the basketball court. Shows endless potential to bulk up while retaining athleticism.
He’s relatively thin still so he moves a little quicker than he will at the next level. That being said he can pop out on the move with some impressive velocity. His movement in space can look labored a lot of times but he covers ground well and is just too powerful for his competition right now. Very interesting athletic profile as a basketball player since he shows some good lateral agility here.
Needs to increase his lower body strength and flexibility so that he can get low and dig into guys. Relies on his size and natural strength now, which will obviously not fly at the next level. That being said he can absolutely destroy his competition with solid technique. He’s not as sloppy as his ability and competition would infer. His natural athleticism should allow him to uncork a lot of power as he develops physically.
Pretty light on his feet for a bigger guy over 6’5”. Shows some forefoot bounce and doesn’t look uncomfortable moving in any direction. Labored might be a better word but that’s to be expected with a 6’7” 250 pound frame.
Above average to very good in this respect. Only seems to end up on the ground when he’s falling on somebody. Otherwise he has such a large frame that he doesn’t need to really overextend himself to get hands on defenders. His feet also give him enough agility to take the most advantage of his length.
His power and athleticism allow him to explode into defenders with good impact and drive. He clamps on and drives to finish with rabid leg drive. The issue is that he can overextend trying to reach smaller/lighter interior defenders. There’s no over-extending inside in the Power 5. Otherwise he consistently gets clamps on and uses his feet in tandem to generate movement and torque defenders out of gaps.
Pretty blocking on the move and sliding laterally. Not as gifted protecting a stationary target right now. Regularly goes up against smaller, lesser athletes so he dominates. But the lack of bend and flexibility in his game right now is what’s keeping him from a high 3 or 4 star ranking. He’ll need to put in some work with the Gophers OL coach in order to unlock the natural power and athleticism that will come with increased bulk.
Most clearly evident as a defensive end as he shows a lot of intensity and agility for his size. As a blocker he finishes consistently but it just doesn’t pop as much as it does on the other side of the ball.
In the lexicon of football recruiting, Logan Purcell is the definition of a “projection”. The 6’7” inch lineman shows a lot of athleticism to go with his obvious frame. It can be difficult to separate other tall, relatively slim guys like him and ask why Purcell should get an offer and not them. The key is in the overall fluidity of movement. As a football player he’s explosive and laterally mobile, albeit clunky at times. As a basketball player he’s big, light on his feet and an asset in transition. To be honest, he could play as a D2 C/PF if he kept improving.
Physically, the easiest comparison on the Gopher roster right now is redshirt freshman J.J. Guedet who had a similarly thin frame and bulked up to 280 pounds before he even got on campus. If Purcell can just get up to 280 and retain his current athleticism he should be in a good spot. Minnesota will likely have 10 scholarship offensive lineman when he starts classes so he should have some time to do so. Even if he doesn’t he only needs to get up to around 300 in order to be modestly effective. Even if he’s pressed into action early I can see him having a lower quality yet-similar stylistic effect as Faalele did in his first year, just off of sheer size and feet alone. P.J. Fleck and crew got themselves a good one in Logan Purcell.
Images courtesy of Hudl.com and Gopherillustrated.com