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    [2022] Purdue announces Matt Jones will be inducted into Boilermakers Hall of Fame

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    Matt Jones stands tall in the pocket against PAC-12 Runner-up Arizona State in the 2019 Holiday Bowl.


    WEST LAFAYETTE – Purdue University has announced that former quarterback Matt Jones will be the fifth player inducted into the Boilermakers Hall of Fame – joining previous inductees QB Corey Mendoza, CB Dan Weaver, OG P.B. Holmes, and WR Jesse Scott. During his four years starting at Purdue, the Boilermakers went 48-8 (0.857), all at least 10-win seasons, 6-0 in the post-season including a Rose Bowl win and national championship, two-time B1G West division champions, and a B1G conference championship win. Jones would blast through the Purdue record book, starting all 51 games in four years, and throwing 1034 of 1498 (69%) for 14266 yards, 128 TD, 29 INT. After his final season, Matt Jones surpassed Holmes as the most decorated Boilermaker, taking the Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award, Johnny Unitas Award, and B1G Offensive Player of the Year, as well as a consensus All-American, an All-B1G selection, and honored (yet snubbed) as a Heisman finalist. Now, he enters the NFLHC as the first overall pick in the 2022 draft. Simply put, Jones is “The Greatest Boilermaker”. The golden-arm award winner becomes the first Boilermaker immediately inducted after graduation since Mendoza in 2018 at the opening of the Boilermakers Hall of Fame.


    Matt Jones will be added to the Ring of Honor during halftime at the 2022 Indiana game in Week 16:





    Matt Jones after the Boilermakers escape an upset from Michigan State on their way to a national championship in 2021.


    Matt Jones is the face of Purdue’s storybook rise to reaching a national championship. Starters in the early years, players such as Mendoza, Weaver, Holmes, and Scott rose from a last place team in the B1G West to a nationally ranked team. At the start of the 2018 season, the Chicago Tribune editor asked, “The one big question is this: Can Matt Jones be an effective replacement for Corey Mendoza?” But by 2020, that answer was clear to the nation, and the Tribune editor admired the team’s success running an article stating, “Matt Jones is one heck of a QB, his defense is solid, and they don't make many mistakes.” It was in large part Matt Jones and the Boilermaker defense that took them from the role of season spoiler for B1G West teams to a national powerhouse, and eventual national champions.


    Yet, Matt Jones went unrecruited aside from Purdue. The Boilermakers head coach recalls, “In those days, recruiting was different. You didn’t have as much resources so maybe only a couple teams got a look at a kid. Matt was from Indiana, and Notre Dame was good in those days; they were interested in him. Matt and Tanner Bowman were spotlight players, so their high school performances hit the media. Everyone knew about him. But we were the only ones to offer him a scholarship so he came to Purdue.” And from Matt Jones’ first game, the 2018 season opener against Air Force, it was obvious this kid was something special. Jones threw 25 for 30, 427 yards, 5 TD, 0 INT. Air Force has since declined to play Purdue who leads the series 4-0. The head coach simply recalled, “That was one of my favorite games. Looking across the field and seeing their coach’s face during that game. Priceless.”


    And that’s part of the fairy tale story for Purdue. Prior to Jones, Purdue had never recruited a five-star recruit from high school. Since Jones, the Boilermakers have been able to bring in a five-star recruit typically each year. The national championship team in 2021 had five players that were five-star recruits from high school – the redshirt senior Jones, redshirt junior punter A.J. Hauser, true junior CB Jordan Westbrook, true sophomore ATH/CB Jeremiah Bulter, and true freshman DE Landon Crowder. The rest of the national championship team were diamonds-in-the-rough recruits and transfers from junior college trying to get a second chance. Looking forward, the Boilermakers head coach said, “Times, they are a’ changin’. Recruiting is different now, and the types of players were going to attract will be different. We never got all the top talent before though. But our offense will have to change. Matt Jones, maybe our upcoming starter Kyle Jefferson, are probably the last quarterbacks at Purdue to run our basketball-on-grass offense. And you need a guy like Matt for it. He should've won the Heisman for that. You swap out Matt for anyone else, and that offense doesn't function as smoothly. Can't say that for other team, and he was the best player in 2021; the success of that offense was due to him.” That offense in 2021 led by Matt Jones was one of the best quarterback performances in CFBHC history (see post below), yet he was the only five-star-rated-potential offensive player on the team.


    After the announcement, Matt Jones tweeted:



    Yes Matt, we like that!


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