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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue's George Karlaftis was welcomed into a fraternity of elite company on Thursday, becoming the 13th member of the football program's prestigious Den of Defensive Ends.

"It means a lot," Karlaftis said in a release. "It was one of my goals coming here. Obviously, the tradition of defensive ends and defensive lineman at Purdue is elite and rivals any other college in the country. To join that fraternity is incredible and such an honor — it's special."

The honorary group was established back in 2004, with the term being coined by Purdue senior associate athletics director for communications Tom Schott. It included the induction of 12 members whose playing days dated back as far as 1949. 

Karlaftis garnered several accolades throughout his three-year career with the Boilermakers, including first-team All-Big Ten and All-American honors following the 2021 season. 

The former four-star recruit out of West Lafayette High School played in 27 games with Purdue, amassing 97 total tackles, including 29 for loss, 14 sacks, six pass deflections and three forced fumbles. 

Karlaftis was a second-team All-Big Ten selection in his first two seasons with the Boilermakers before earning consensus first-team recognition as a junior. He became the second All-American defensive end in program history, joining Ryan Kerrigan. 

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Since 1999, 10 Boilermaker defensive ends have been selected in the National Football League draft, including first-round picks Anthony Spencer in 2007 and Kerrigan in 2011.

Kerrigan surprised Karlaftis on a Zoom call to extend the invitation into the Den of Defensive Ends. 

Karlaftis — after leading Purdue in tackles for loss, sacks, forced fumbles, fumble recoveries and quarterback hurries during a nine-win campaign — is projected to be a first-round selection during next week's 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas. 

Den of Defensive Ends

  • Cliff Avril, 2004-07
  • Akin Ayodele, 1999-2001
  • Rosevelt Colvin, 1995-98
  • Ray Edwards, 2003-05
  • George Karlaftis, 2019-21
  • Ryan Kerrigan, 2007-10
  • Lamar Lundy, 1954-56
  • Rob Ninkovich, 2004-05
  • Chike Okeafor, 1994-96, 1998
  • Shaun Phillips, 2000-03
  • Anthony Spencer, 2003-06
  • Leo Sugar, 1949-51
  • Keena Turner, 1976-79
  • CHIEFS TAKE KARLAFTIS IN CBS SPORTS MOCK DRAFT: In a recent seven-round 2022 NFL mock draft by CBS Sports, Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis nearly slipped out of the first round but was taken by the Kansas City Chiefs. CLICK HERE 
  • KARLAFTIS SELECTED IN ESPN MOCK DRAFT: George Karlaftis and David Bell were the only two Purdue football players selected in ESPN's complete seven-round 2022 NFL mock draft. Both players will likely hear their names called during the three-day event. CLICK HERE 
  • KARLAFTIS SET TO ATTEND 2022 NFL DRAFT IN LAS VEGAS: Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis will be among 21 players attending the 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas. The last time the Boilermakers had a first-round selection was back in 2011 when Ryan Kerrigan went 16th overall to the Washington Redskins. CLICK HERE 

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