This time of year is my favorite; college basketball teams are fighting for their lives and the passion and effort is obvious as players seem to be selling out each and every play. But, atop of basketball, football is back, at least for a few weeks...and big things are happening in Camp Hope (according to GBI).
|The hunted becoming the hunter?|
We all knew about the logjam at QB that's coming in the fall...but it's really already here, really.
Marve, TerBush and Henry are all fighting for the number one spot...and regardless of whom gets the nod, there will be two guys behind him, automatically...and that's before Sean Robinson or walk-on, Berzinskas (or any other walk-on, for that matter) enter the conversation.
If you would have demanded that I give you the name of one QB that would change positions this spring, I would have said Dalapo Macarthy...but Sean Robinson is the first guy to make the move. He'll be playing LB through at least the end of Spring ball. Robinson has good size- 6'3" and 210 pounds...on paper, that'd make him fit in with many in the LB corps...but, I've never seen any film of him playing anything but quarterback...so I am not educated-enough to say if this is a move that will make sense.
It reminds me a bit of Kyle Smith being moved to Safety back in the mid-oughts...Smith stuck on the other side of the ball and contributed...because, like the last few years, safety was a tough position to fill. You can't really say the same thing about LB, but in the new scheme, more LBs will be needed, and if nothing else, Robinson is a guy that is smart enough to figure out the thinking part of the game.
Other delicious morsels from Hopes post-practice report include the news that both Ross and Beckford are not on the roster for the Spring session...No surprise here. Both guys have as much talent as I remember at WR and LB (respectively) since Selwyn Lymon and Kyle Williams...but like Lymon and Williams, both seem to be squandering the opportunity by making less-than-brilliant decisions off the field. Hope kept the door opened for both, but with additional charges hanging over Beckford's head, and enigmatic behavior from Ross, coupled with academic issues, the writing seems to be on the wall, at least for me. These guys don't have much time left in the program. And while both were starters, I think both can be easily replaced.
Gary Bush, while not as fast as Ross, did a great job as a starter when Ross wasn't available. Beckford, on the other hand, doesn't have a guy right behind him that can fill in, one-for-one...but two or three guys will be fighting for the spot immediately. My best guess is we'll see true Freshman, Andy Garcia on the field a bit quicker than we might have if Beckford is gone...and Gilliam and Williams will also be involved.
Other news from the article included the easy-to-predict move of Bade from TE to tackle- his arm length make this move a no-brainer. Bade has two years of eligibility left...I'm not sure if an additional RS year is available to him though. Regardless, he's up to 270...that's noteworthy since he played his last season of basketball at around 230...and prior to that, he was playing at around 215...so the guy clearly has a frame that can add and hold weight. Plus, with injuries at various OL positions, Bade comes right in to the 2-deeps...which he was no where near at TE. Kugler was also moved from TE to OL...but to center. This was a move that had been whispered back in the late fall as Kugler has always looked more like an interior guy than a TE (at least to me).
Finally, Ismael Aristide will move from Safety to WR. If you don't know Aristide, he was a guy with a pretty high recruiting stock as a Junior, but he blew out his knee early in his Senior year of HS...He redshirted his first season at Purdue...but even after his RS season, he hasn't landed on the depth chart yet as a safety. I don't know if his quickness is up to where it was in high school, or if something just wasn't clicking for him, but I hope he can make an impact on the offensive side of the ball; he was a pretty exciting player a few years ago with a ton of potential. The interesting part of his move was that he, not the coaches suggested the move.
Hope also talked about Marve, TerBush and Henry- He said both Marve and TerBush looked sharp...and Henry looked like a guy who had missed a year due to a bum knee...All will benefit from a full, healthy spring. Hope said TerBush and Marve will both take #1 snaps, depending on the day.
Regarding the RB position, Hope loves Shavers and the way he finished the season last year. Behind him, he mentioned Gentry and Roberts...but I'd be shocked if we didn't hear any gushing about Hunt in the coming days. Hope said Bolden's post-op recovery is going well...and Cottom's is going a bit slower.
If this is your first Spring around Purdue football- here's what you need to know- Hope is the most positive guy in the world with people he likes...if he doesn't talk positively about someone during Spring practices, it'll be a long-shot for them to make an impact in the fall. If you didn't hear any glowing remarks from Hope about your favorite player, don't dismay- there's plenty of interview time left this Spring for it to happen. Now, when you hear a guy's name over and over, that's one of two things- either the guy is really, really good (i.e. Carson Wiggs) OR, and this is more likely, Hope really is trying to boost that guy's confidence because the team really needs that guy to be good.
I'm sure there will be more info coming out of camp in the coming days/weeks. Regardless, enjoy the nice weather, the co-eds coming out of hibernation (if applicable to you) and this action-packed time of year.