Purdue first to offer WR/TE Ian Bunting

The wait is over for Ian Bunting (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central). The receiver/tight end picked up his first offer Monday.

The Class of 2014 prospect visited Purdue, and he left West Lafayette with an offer Monday evening.

“I was kind of caught off guard,” Bunting said. “All the schools said once you get two or three games to send the tape and then we’ll see (about an offer). Purdue found some tape and that was enough.”

Bunting spent much of the visit with assistant Kevin Maurice, who Bunting called a “really cool, really nice guy.” Both Bunting and Maurice spent time in Miami, and Maurice has family in the Chicago area, where Bunting has lived for the last 12 years.

Having arrived late, Bunting only caught the end of the Boilermakers’ practice, but he spoke with receivers coach Patrick Higgins. Higgins told Bunting Purdue’s offense will be versatile in 2012.

Other than practice, it was a pretty standard visit for Bunting.

“I took a tour around the entire campus, got to see almost all the buildings, and that was really cool,” he said. “I got to go inside all the facilities and the student union. (Maurice) introduced me to the strength and conditioning coach, who I really liked. He seems like he’s got it down to a science.”

At 6-foot-6 and 194 pounds, Bunting is a receiver that will likely grow into a tight end. He prefers playing receiver, but at that size most programs see the ideal frame and skills for the new breed of primary pass-catching tight ends.

Northwestern sees Bunting as a tight end, or a superback in the Wildcats’ offense.

Bunting visited Northwestern recently and did not expect to enjoy the visit as much as he did.

“I never realized how close it is to the lake and the city. Being so close to Chicago, sometimes on the weekend I could go take the train down there,” Bunting said. “They have a couple of private beaches.

“They said the hardest part is getting kids to (visit) but once they see it they’re surprised and impressed, which I found to be true.”

Illinois and Wisconsin are also interested in Bunting, who hopes to unofficially visit all four schools for games this season.