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June 8, 2011Blog: Bade switches to football
Purdue issued an announcement Wednesday afternoon making official basketball player Patrick Bade's move to the football program.
He will play tight end.
The 6-foot-8 forward, listed at 231 pounds heading into his sophomore basketball season, was a tight end at Franklin Central High School and was drawing early recruiting interest from several major college football programs.
He did not play as a senior after committing to play basketball at Purdue.
"We've met with Patrick and I know he's excited about joining our football team," football coach Danny Hope said in a released statement. "He didn't play football his senior year of high school, but I've seen his junior film and he looks like a pretty good prospect for us.
"He's a big-body guy who plays a position where we have a quite a bit of youth and not a lot experience, so he'll be able to compete right away. We're happy to have him aboard."
Purdue was among the schools expressing interest in Bade for football out of high school. Several other Big Ten programs were as well, though Bade chose hoops before the football recruiting process even really began.
"It was kind of tough (deciding whether to pursue college football or basketball)," Bade said back then. "I wrote down a list of the pros and cons of each one and figured basketball was the better route."
That route, though, didn't immediately pay off.
Bade was pressed into relatively significant minutes right away as a freshman, particularly after Robbie Hummel's season ended prematurely, and the rookie big man was up and down.
After Hummel was injured again this past season, Bade opened the season as a starter following an outstanding off-season. But he quickly fell out of the playing rotation and actually played fewer minutes on average as a sophomore than he did as a freshman.
"I want to thank the Purdue basketball staff for the opportunity to be a member of such a successful program for the last two years," said Bade, who chose Purdue over offers from Iowa and Butler out of high school, in a released statement. "This is the start of a new chapter for me, and I look forward to taking on the challenges that come with playing college football. I'm excited for the opportunities that lie ahead."
Bade will join the football team as a non-scholarship player, at least initially. He will be eligible to play right away at a position where Purdue is turning over personnel-wise. He'll have at least two seasons of football eligibility, as many as three if one of his years playing basketball can be counted as a redshirt year for football.
"We wish Patrick nothing but the best as he pursues a college football career at Purdue," basketball coach Matt Painter said in a released statement. "He is a valued member of the Purdue Athletics family, and we're happy that he has chosen to remain at the university."
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