Posted: 7:31 pm Sunday, November 25th, 2012
By Matt Porter
Kyle Shortridge wanted to play for Purdue coach Danny Hope next season, but he won’t have that chance.
On Sunday, the Boilermakers fired Hope. That means Shortridge, Seminole Ridge’s senior defensive tackle, is once again looking for a school.
Shortridge (6-2, 280) committed to Purdue in October, three weeks after taking an official visit to the school. In July, he committed to Wake Forest on a visit, but backed off that pledge the next day. Over the past eight months, he has claimed strong interest in approximately two dozen BCS schools.
Verbal commitments are non-binding. Seniors can sign binding letters of intent beginning Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013.
Shortridge said he won’t give his word again until shortly before then. He plans to visit Louisville the weekend of Dec. 7-9. He would have one of five official visits remaining after that.
According to Shortridge, the schools with the best chance of landing him are Nebraska, which he has also visited; along with Louisville, Iowa State and Michigan State. Several new schools have shown interest, including Vanderbilt and Penn State. Purdue still has a shot, depending on who they hire to replace Hope.
Hope coached the Boilermakers to a 22-27 record in four seasons. His team was expected to improve on last year’s 7-6 record, but lost five straight to open the season. Purdue, now 6-6, is bowl-eligible.
In the past few weeks, Shortridge increasingly felt Hope might be fired, but didn’t have solid info. A reporter called him Sunday morning with the news of the coach’s dismissal.
“He was a good coach,” Shortridge said. “When I went up there and got to know him on the visit, and saw how the players felt about him, I knew I wanted to play for him. They had to let him go, so I guess it’s just business.”