George Karlaftis: What to know about Purdue football's top commit
Keeping the top homegrown talent from leaving for other schools is something every coach tries to accomplish.
Purdue football coach Jeff Brohm seems to have pulled it off with West Lafayette's George Karlaftis.
Karlaftis could be primed for a big career at Purdue.
Here are some facts about the defensive end before he plans to sign during the early signing period on Dec. 19.
George Karlaftis' friends told him that he 'sucks at football'
Karlaftis didn't start playing football until four years ago.
He proclaimed he'd play in the NFL one day, but his friends strongly disagreed.
“You suck at football,” they said.
Four years later, his friends probably have a very different idea about Karlafits' NFL hopes.
George Karlaftis is from Greece
Karlaftis might be the hometown hero who is staying home, but West Lafayette wasn't his first home.
He spent the first 13-years of his life growing up in Athens, Greece. This is why he never played football before 2014.
Karlaftis believes growing up overseas has given him a different perspective.
“Kids were raised tougher and forced to mature more rapidly than kids" in the United States, he recalled. “You have more of a rough childhood than anything. Here, life is way simpler and almost stress free compared to what it is in Athens.”
George Karlaftis is an elite prospect
It is impressive that Karlaftis is the crown jewel of one of Purdue's best recruiting classes in a while considering how little he's played football in his life.
Karlaftis is rated as a four-star prospect and ranked at the No. 4 defensive end in the 2019 class, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
The Purdue recruiting class is ranked No. 25 in the country.
He will also play in the All-American Bowl on Jan. 5.
Michigan hasn't stopped pursuing
Karlaftis committed to Purdue in October of 2017, but Michigan hasn't stopped, according to Mike Carmin of the Journal & Courier.
The Wolverines have pushed hard for the Greece native, and they won't stop until his National Letter of Intent is signed.
“I can’t tell them not to recruit me," Karlaftis told Carmin. "I guess I could but I’m not that kind of person. When Jim Harbaugh comes up to you and says, ‘We like you. We’re going to keep recruiting you.’ I said, ‘OK. I’m committed to Purdue and you guys have to know that.’"
George Karlaftis won a shot put state title
Karlaftis' college future clearly lies on the gridiron, but he could have probably gotten a track and field scholarship if he'd rather do that.
He repeated as the shot put state champion in June 2018 as a junior. He won with a throw of 60 feet, 1/2 inch.
As a sophomore, he won with a throw of 59 feet, 5 1/2 inches.
The 6-foot-4, 260-pound athlete won't be able to defend his crown this summer, because he plans to enroll at Purdue in January.