- Dave Hooker, Reporter, RecruitingNation
Ryan Timmons' visit to Purdue gave the Boilermakers a leg up on the competition. Whether or not that lasts remains to be seen.
"It was great," the ESPN 300 athlete prospect from Frankfort (Ky.) Franklin said. "I went on my official this past weekend. It went well. I got a better understanding and a better feeling about the school."
Purdue's leg up on Timmons' other four finalists came thanks to more introductions. Of all the schools recruiting him, Timmons has only met one entire coaching staff. That's Purdue. He also was able to spend time with Boilermaker head coach Danny Hope.
"I haven't met all the coaches at every school yet," Timmons said. "At Purdue I met all the coaches. I talked to Coach Hope more and I got to talk to some of the professors."
The trip to Purdue is the second official visit that Timmons has made. The first was to Arkansas on Sept. 21.
Of course, there's plenty of questions at Arkansas. Interim coach John L. Smith is expected to be released after this season. The Razorbacks are 4-5 and 2-3 in the SEC after being ranked in the top 10 during the preseason.
There are similar questions at another school Timmons is considering. Kentucky announced this week that head coach Joker Phillips will not be retained.
"It's going to be a factor," the 5-foot-11, 180-pound prospect said when asked about Kentucky's coaching change. "Now I have to wait for them and Arkansas until they get new coaches. I have to wait and see who the coach is going to be."
That would seem to open the door for Timmons' other three finalists to gain a foothold in his recruitment. He told ESPN he will take an official visit to Illinois in December and an official visit Ohio State at some point. Whether or not he takes an official visit to Kentucky remains to be seen.
The Buckeyes certainly have an offense that could showcase Timmons' various skills. The nation's No. 252-ranked player has played quarterback, receiver, tailback and safety in high school. He said most colleges want him to play a hybrid role in college, a mix of running back and receiver. Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has done much of that throughout his career.
"It's a great school," Timmons said. "Coach Meyer is a great coach. He's doing grew things at Ohio State right now. The offense puts a lot of players in the NFL. That's something I'm looking at right now."
Timmons has visited all five of his final schools. Therefore, he also has a good feel for Illinois.
"I was there this summer," he said. "I have to go again on an official to meet more coaches because I only met a few of them. Just see what their offense will have me doing there."
Timmons has proven he can do a lot already. He has rushed for over 1,000 yards, has over 1,000 yards receiving and scored 40 touchdowns this season to help lead his team to an 11-0 record and into the second round of the playoffs.
His high school coaches have found various ways to get him the ball in their zone-spread offense. In addition to more traditional duties, Timmons motions to the backfield, runs reverses and catches screen passes from all positions.
"Really my acceleration and quickness," Timmons said when asked what was special about his game. "Once I get in the open field, I'm more than likely going to score or get a big gain out of it."
Timmons said he'll weigh potential coaches, early playing time and a good fit in an offense when he makes his decision. He said he doesn't care what conference he plays in.
"It doesn't really matter," he said. "I just want to get a chance to play and show my talents. Really SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, it doesn't matter where I play at."
That's good for the finalists trying to make Timmons feel as connected as Purdue did.