Stupidly-Early Look at Spring Football (and Beyond)

We'll talk in more depth about the recruiting class and their potential impact to the team after signing day.  As of right now, I love that Hope now has five verbals from offensive lineman...the shortest guy is 6'5"...the smallest guy is 270 lbs...the biggest, closest to ready Oline recruit is 6'7" and 315 pounds and is a JuCo transfer.  The lack of DE commits is still bothersome...But there are a few LBs who seem to be growing into the DE position before our very eyes.  Plus, no player should be considered a Boiler until they've signed their letter; we've been through this before.

Don't fall in love with a dream and love the one you're with.

Needs that must be addressed now

QB
Sure, TerBush and Marve both played OK at times...but Hope needs to have a QB that does more than merely trying to not make a big mistake.  And the two-QB system needs to go the way of the New Purdue Pete.

If Rob Henry's knee allows it, give him the damned ball and let him play.  In my opinion, the guy that was the #1 on the depth chart coming into camp last season should be given the chance to be the outright #1 again.

TE
One of the best ways to make a passing attack respectable in a hurry is to get the tight end involved.  Crosby Wright and Gabe Holmes both showed the ability to make plays in '11...With Holmes size, athleticism and his work toward becoming a better blocker will make it tough to ignore him in '12.

Safety
Albert Evans was the only safety this season that seemed to be a threat to pick the ball off or blow up a play with a hard hit...he's now graduated.

It's time to see what Ismael Aristide, EJ Johnson, Taylor Richards and even Raheem Mostert can do...Safety was really the only position on the field this season in which I didn't see any evidence of Hope's "speed first" philosophy.

If it seems like I'm pushing Mostert onto the field in anyway possible, it's because I am.

DE
I'm kind of excited to see what Ryan Russell becomes...he showed some flashes of greatness in the second half of the season.  I don't want to see him even flirt with moving inside- I love his athleticism and size and hope the coaches strive to make him leaner and faster in the off-season.

With the mass in the middle of Short, Gaston, Taylor and Isaac, I think speed on the edge is important now. We saw this season how important pass rush, or lack thereof, from the ends really is to the defense.

Brandon Cottom, Jelani Phillips and Robert Kugler might all be good at the position.

PR
Waynelle Gravesande was sure-handed at punt returner, but wasn't a threat to take it to the house.  Gibboney's ST units took big strides forward this season, the next thing they need to do to keep the momentum is find a guy who can not only catch it, but do something with it to help field position.

Antavian Edison has shown he can do about anything he's asked to do...and can take a hit. Ismael Aristide and Josh Johnson have both been mentioned as options back there...and Ricardo Allent was given a look earlier this year.  One of these guys might be the key to success in one of the most-difficult positions on the football field.

Who's taking over?
RB
Akeem Shavers showed that he'll be the clear #1 as Bolden works his way through rehab.  Behind him Hunt, Pegram and Mostert should all push Shavers.  I have no concerns at RB.


LB
With Holland graduating and the status of Beckford in question at this point, Purdue will need one or two of the guys who we've been waiting to see make an impact.


Armstead Williams, Joe Gilliam and Mike Lee should all vie for playing time in '12.



K
Purdue has two incoming kickers...one seems to be the clear starter.  We'll talk about who that is on signing day.

P
Obviously, this is Webster's job...with Wiggs now graduated, Webster will need to work on his short punting accuracy.

Boilers Hang On at Iowa: 79-76

The Scale: Little Caesars Bowl

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