-Danny Hope talked to the incoming Freshman at a Gold Rush event. Told the students to get in the stands so they could be there for the next big win...and have a chance to rush the field a la the aOSU game. Also said "the annual beat down" of IU for the Oaken Bucket was something to look forward too...I like that.
If you watch that video, you can see that Hope clearly gets nervous in front of crowds...he's not as polished as many coaches...at least at this point in his career. But, he's passionate. His team reflected a similar personality on the field last season, and the team this year, probably will show some of that as well, at times. Like the coach, the team needs to learn poise as it becomes comfortable in its collective skin.
-Kawaan Short and Bruce Gaston are both excited and confident about the front four and the part they play in the unit.
-Ricardo Allen calls himself a "playmaker" and says starting as a Freshman would be a "dream come true".
-Joe Holland (who seems to have been at Purdue for 15 seasons) said the linebackers didn't seem to need to spend time on the basics as they had in previous seasons...as Holland, Werner, Higgs, Beckford, Lucas, Carlino, and even Gilliam form a deep and talented corps, I continue to wonder if Higgs might be destined to be a DE before too long...he surely has the size and quickness. Maybe next year.
-The team had another scrimmage...Hope was pleased with the effort and speed of the practice.
-Team worked more on cut blocking and tackling.
-Hope really likes Marve (no surprise)...but keeps mentioning Ricardo Allen. Put him in the starting line-up with a big, fat sharpie. It'll taken injury to keep him out of the starting defense in South Bend.
-When asked if Hope will have a hard time deciding which Freshman will or won't be playing, he succinctly said, "Not Really. I'll play the best ones...don't care who they are."
sidenote- I asked Hope a question last season about potentially benching "The Duke" and he nipped the question in similar fashion...This is one thing I like about the way Hope handles the press.
-He loves the depth and potential for "fresh bodies" in the back 7 of the defense...and says it will help the team "A TON...A TON!" Guys like Carlino will be used heavily on special teams-as a result of that depth, I think we'll see coverage units that hit very hard and are clearly faster than in '09.
-Antavian Edison seems to be the guy who will be returning punts at this point.