WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue football team got better in the last 10 days by adding three graduate transfers with immediate eligibility that all have the opportunity to make an impact right away.
Defensive back Tyler Coyle from Connecticut, quarterback Austin Burton from UCLA and offensive lineman Greg Long from UTEP all signed with Purdue in the last two weeks and can provide experience and a good fit at their positions, which are all positions of need for Jeff Brohm and the Boilermakers.
Here's a look at the three newcomers:
Tyler Coyle, Connecticut
The UConn transfer has one year of eligibility remaining and brings much needed experience to the defensive backs room. Coyle is one of three Purdue seniors at the position now and his ability to tackle well is a nice addition to that position group.
Coyle made 260 tackles, 7.5 for loss, for the Huskies during the last three seasons. He also had 18 pass breakups and three interceptions, including two touchdown returns off picks.
The former UConn team captain lead the Huskies in back-to-back seasons with 107 tackles his redshirt sophomore year and 86 tackles last season. In one game versus Navy last season, Coyle registered 19 tackles in the contest.
To put it in perspective, the leading defensive back tackler from a season ago that returns for Purdue is Brennan Thieneman with 49 total tackles.
Coyle has ties to the Boilermakers, having been coached by new Purdue defensive coordinator Bob Diaco and co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Anthony Poindexter his freshman season at UConn in 2016. Diaco was the head coach and Poindexter was the defensive coordinator of the Huskies at the time.
Austin Burton, UCLA
The UCLA transfer has two years of eligibility remaining, effective immediately, and increases the competition among quarterbacks at Purdue.
He only started one game in three seasons at UCLA, playing in five total contests. Burton completed 68.8 percent of his passes (44-for-64) in his career for the Bruins. In his lone start, a loss to Oregon State, he played well and finished the game 27-for-41 passing for 236 yards and one touchdown pass.
The 6-foot-2, 197-pound quarterback was a fan of Jeff and Brian Brohm's pass-heavy offense that blends the spread and pro-style in their system. His dual-threat style of play will be a good fit under center.
After Elijah Sindelar's season-ending injury, Purdue turned to Jack Plummer and Aidan O'Connell to carry the load of quarterback duties last year. Both played for the first time in their careers and now, with Burton entering the picture this fall, it will be an open race for the starting job.
Greg Long, Texas-El Paso
The UTEP transfer has one year of eligibility to lend to Boilermakers' offensive line. The 6-foot-4, 295-pound lineman can add experience to the line for Purdue, which only has two seniors on the roster.
In 2016, Long showed great promise by making the Conference-USA All-Freshman team, but was then stifled by injuries. Long made the 2017 preseason All-C-USA First Team, but after suffering a leg injury the second game of the season, he missed the rest of that year and all of the 2018 campaign, too.
This past season, he started eight games at right tackle for UTEP. Purdue needed help regarding depth on their offensive line, so this is a major addition to the offensive line room.