RECORDS & AWARDS
MY TAKE ON PURDUE
July 2, 2012Richmond High School
MY TAKE ON PURDUE, TROY DERENGOWSKI, EIHSS SPORTS
After a strong finish, there is plenty of optimism for 2012. Purdue won three of their final four games including bowl win over Western Michigan. Now if they can stay healthy, 2012 could be a better year in West Lafayette.
Coach Danny Hope may start this season with a healthy core of QB’s. That would be the first time that has happened since 2007. 2011 starter Caleb Turbush returns along with Robert Marve and Rob Henry. Henry returns after sitting out last year due to injury.
The injury bug hit the running game again in 2011. Leading rusher Ralph Bolden suffered a torn ACL against Indiana and his status is uncertain. One bright spot for the Boilermakers will be Akeem Shavers who was named the MVP of the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl when he rushed for 149 yards. Shavers will be running behind an experienced offensive line but it lacks depth. The receiver corp returns Antavian Edison but O.J. Ross may be lost due to academics.
On defense the Boilermakers have three new coaches. Those new coaches will inherit a solid front seven led by All-American candidate Kawaan Short. Purdue fans are happy Short decided not to enter the NFL draft and return for another season. Short is one of the quickest defensive tackles in the country leading Purdue in tackles for loss and sacks. Also up front Purdue has Bruce Gaston and Ryan Russell.
The secondary is also solid led by Ricardo Allen and Josh Johnson, both are talented and experienced. Joining Allen and Johnson will be Taylor Richards, Frankie Williams, Max Charlot and Normando Harris. Williams was a red-shirt last season.
One area of concern is at linebacker. MLB Dwayne Beckford didn’t participate in spring drills after being suspended for the bowl game. This is an area that lacks experience and depth.
On special teams the Boilermakers return punter Cody Webster who averaged almost 43 yards per kick. Carson Wiggs is gone so the kicking game will come down to two freshmen in Paul Griggs and Thomas Meadows.
The schedule is favorable with Michigan, Wisconsin, Penn State and Indiana at home. With Ohio State ineligible for the Big Ten title, Purdue may be the darkhorse in the league.
Projected Record: 8-4