"...the commitment from our players has been extraordinary..."

We're inside 5 days until kickoff and all is still very positive. Coach Hope keeps singing the praises of a ton of players. So far, we've heard Hope praise all of the running backs in contention for playing time at one time or another...the entire defensive backfield has been a shining spot as well...and finally, Hope likes a lot out of what he's seeing from the mostly-unknown defensive line during practice.

A few weeks ago, I predicted Kevin Pamphile might be a special player before he leaves Purdue. But honestly, I was thinking it'd be a season or two before he'd see the field. Pamphile is an interesting case- Up to his Junior year in high school, his stat line didn't include tackles and sacks, but 8.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Kevin was a big, strong, lunch bucket basketball player with not a ton of touch, according to what I've read. It was almost like he was in the wrong place.
Well he was- not in the wrong position, but the wrong sport. Kevin picked up playing football his Senior year and received a schollie offer from Hope...which surprised about everybody. Rivals gave this unknown player 2-stars...probably just because he received the offer from Purdue...and a 4.9 rating (the lowest they give out). He was an unknown in which Hope saw promise.

Now, 15 pounds heavier and a bit-more football wise, Hope now thinks it could be tough to keep Pamphile off of the field in the coming weeks. Pretty amazing ride, in my opinion.

So, if you're a Purdue player and you haven't received any of the superfluous praise out of Hope's mouth, should you be worried? Let's take a look at some guys that have gotten little-to-no lip service by Purdue's first year head coach.

-True Freshman, Najee Tyler hasn't received a ton of ink other than Hope liked the way the ball came out of his hand.

-Waynelle Gravesande & Eric Williams haven't been gushed over in the media by his head coach.

-And we haven't heard a whole lot about Carson Wiggs out of camp.

Now- do you think that means these guys are doomed to the Hope doghouse? I don't...I'm pretty sure Wiggs is going to be important to Purdue this year...and Gravesande will probably see the field each game, especially in 5-wide sets. I think Williams and Tyler might be a year away from the conversation, but that's OK...they'll still have four seasons of eligibility left at that point.

The fact that I can't really think of any other player that was hanging around the two-deeps, or a noteworthy recruit that hasn't gotten any "love" from the head coach is amazing in itself. Clearly Hope's goal is to build these guys up...kinda like a guy did 12 years ago after his team had been repeatedly torn-down in the media by the previous head coach. Should ring a bell.

History, at least parts of it, repeats itself pretty often, and one thing we know in sports is a large percentage of the game is mental. If the positivity displayed by Hope to the media can translate to a bunch of confident players who believe in their coach's system and eachother, maybe we can see history repeat itself again...I'm excited about the prospect of fun being back in Ross-Ade. And what's more fun than having your expectations exceeded week-in, week-out?

Take note of the coach celebrating with the fans at the end...fun stuff.

And speaking of history repeating itself...
(Indy Racing Tidbit)
Scott Dixon had his version of groundhog day occur once-again in Chicago. He was edged out by a Marlbory machine once again...this time it was Briscoe. The Chicagoland race once-again did not disappoint on Saturday night. For those of you who watched, check out the similarity of last-year's finish with last Saturday's:

Slap on the Wrist coming for Wolverines?

Boiled Sports Podcast for August 27, 2009