Now, that's more like it- all is right with the world again. No reports of ineligibility, law infractions, injuries or fights? That doesn't seem too much like what we've become accustomed during Purdue football camp and two-a-days during the past 4 or 5 seasons...
Two pieces of not-great news came out of West Lafayette yesterday. First, D.J. Donley, who I still don't think will play a down at Purdue, has yet to report to Purdue's campus. According to a couple of sources, he's ironing out some details back at GT. Seems to me, details could have been ironed out during the last 2 or 3 months...but what do I know.
Next up, one of Purdue's incoming Freshman, Dwayne Beckford will not be able to play this season due to the NCAA Clearinghouse. While some thought he might play this year, chances were greater that he'd spend a year developing...but the fact that Purdue has one less option at LB isn't a good thing since they're already so thin there.
In the perpetually-falling-sky atmosphere of the Knucklehead Board, many think this is the beginning of the wave of bad news that begins each time in August for Purdue's football team. While I may be wrong, I don't think this year will be too bad. Crappy things happen to every program at the beginning of camp...but perspective and wisdom might be better than hunches and bad feelings. Camp does not have to be a precipice of pending doom that it's become for Boiler fans, but it is human nature when you don't know what's going on to draw conclusions on your own thoughts about what's around the next corner. The best way to stop this sort of thinking is by getting through camp as well as possible and follow that up by having a successful season.
Regardless of who you are, it's probably not the best practice in the world to place a ton of heartache or stress on the prospects of a career of a 19 year old who's never played a down for your alma mater...Regardless of which school is your favorite. That said, is there anything more exciting than raw potential and upside? You know, conversations about what might happen and what someone might become are really nothing more than fantasy, but they can be an enjoyable distraction...But when the new season isn't rainbows and lollipops, it stings quite a bit.
Not everyone can sign Terrelle Pryor or Jimmy Clausen...and that's good sometimes because you're forced to not place your hopes and dreams in the hands of a completely unknown commodity. Busts usually aren't the result of a kid's downfall, in my opinion. They're the result of silly expectations placed on an athlete who's never played at the next level.
I think as Purdue fans, we might be wiser to focus on what we know best- kids that develop into solid players in a two or three season span and maybe take the next step and become great. Guys like Dustin Keller and Curtis Painter, Craig Terrell and Anthony Spencer. Granted, it's not quite as fun as the dream of greatness that comes from unlimited potential, but it's not quite as heartbreaking either. Maybe, just maybe, one season in the not-so-distant future, a group of these kids who develop slowly, but surely, will all be on the same team again and our Boilers will get back to a BCS bowl. Like I said, it's fun to dream.