WEST LAFAYETTE — Purdue’s defense has one more hole to fill this offseason.
Junior defensive tackle Eddy Wilson announced Sunday he will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL Draft early.
“First of all, I want to give credit to God for all that he has done and continuously does for me," Wilson wrote on Twitter. "It has always been a dream of mine to play football as a professional. With that being said, I would like to take this time to announce that I will forgo my senior season and enter the NFL Draft.
“I would like to thank everyone that has helped me reach this point in my career. I swear I wouldn’t be here without all of your love and support. I also want to thank all of the Boilermaker fans that lifted my spirits through the losses and celebrated with me through the victories.”
Wilson finished 11th on Purdue’s team last season with 27 total tackles, including 2.5 for loss and one sack, playing a position where it’s difficult to accumulate a ton of stats.
When he’s on the field, Wilson is an intriguing prospect at 6-foot-4 and 295 pounds. However, Wilson has also dealt with his share of off-field issues.
He was arrested on charges of possession of marijuana last offseason. Shortly after, he was not on Purdue’s online roster. When his name reappeared, Wilson had changed his number from No. 18 to No. 7.
“I got into a lot of different stuff last year on and off the field,” Wilson said during fall camp. “I wanted to leave it all behind, even my number. Just leave it all. Be a different player. More aggressive. More in-tune. More mentally strong. Everything.”
Wilson did not completely avoid missteps this year. He didn’t make the trip to the Foster Farms Bowl in Santa Clara, Calif., with the rest of the Boilermakers due to academic ineligibility.
Purdue won the bowl game without Wilson. As the Boilers look toward next season, they’ll have to learn to live without much more than just their defensive tackle.
Purdue’s veteran-laden defense finished the regular season as the most-improved scoring defense in college football. It allowed 99 fewer points than a season ago and jumped from 117th to 18th.
The challenge for defensive coordinator Nick Holt and co-coordinator Anthony Poindexter will be finding a way to replicate that now that seven starters and at least 10 players from the two-deep are gone.