Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 11/11/11

This year, and probably next, are proverbial rebuilding seasons in West Lafayette, Ind. After that, Matt Painter and the Purdue Boilermakers are ready to reload. And they’ll do so with one of the nation’s top recruiting classes, as a highly-praised quartet signed National Letters of Intent for the 2012-13 season.

This group should help the Boilermakers stay nationally relevant in college basketball.

Rapheal Davis, A.J. Hammons, Ronnie Johnson and Jay Simpson comprise a class that is regarded as the 13th-best in the nation by ESPN and 16th by Scout.com.

“I think we’ve signed a class with a little bit of everything, and that doesn’t always happen,” Painter said. “When you’re able to get size, shot blocking and the ability to rebound the ball to go along with a scorer and a point guard, it’s a great class.”

Each member of this class has Indiana roots: Davis, Hammons and Johnson are in-state products, and Simpson completes his prep career at La Lumiere School in LaPorte, Ind., after growing up in nearby Champaign, Ill.

Purdue’s 2011 Signing Class

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School/Previous School)

Rapheal Davis G 6-5 200 Fort Wayne, Ind. (La Lumiere School)

A.J. Hammons C 7-0 275 Carmel, Ind. (Oak Hill (Va.) Academy)

Ronnie Johnson G 5-11 160 Indianapolis, Ind. (North Central)

Jay Simpson F 6-9 253 Champaign, Ill. (La Lumiere School)

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports.

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the FWAA, USBWA and SPJ. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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