It's kinda tough to glean a whole bunch from the practice reports- that's part of the reason we don't post each day after practice. But, based on what we're reading and hearing here are a few stories that are sticking out to us right now:
-Ralph Bolden hasn't given any reason for the coaches, nor his teammates to be concerned in the first few days. Players and coaches alike are impressed with his quickness and ability to change direction quickly. There hasn't been a ton of contact yet, so while this is very good news, they're not quite playing football yet.
-Marve looks leaner to me...but is actually a few pounds heavier than he was listed last year at this time. The knee that they took the pateller tendon from (in his first ACL repair) is still a bit sore after practice, but the repaired ACL is holding up well. Everytime I hear Marve talk, I feel for the guy. Like most people that injure, or re-injure their knee seriously, he was really shaken by what happened last fall. All that said, he's stayed pretty positive.
GBI is reporting that He'll seek a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA. We all remember how well that went last time it was attempted at Purdue.
-The pace of the practices is better than it was at this time last year, but through the coach speak, you can hear Hope saying he wishes they were a little further along since all three of top QBs on the depth chart have practiced in this offense.
-Ricardo Allen is good.
-Josh Johnson looks a bit more filled out than this time last year...and both he and Allen pride themselves in being able to tackle as well as cover. The extra weight/muscle will come in handy later.
-Normando Harris is back on the defensive side of the ball.
-Charles Torwudzu is either a gigantic receiver or a small tight end or a slot HBack type of guy...he's now up to 6'4" & 230.
-Rashad Frazier left the team. While Frazier would barely be on the two-deeps at DE, the position is already more thin than we've seen it in 15 years at Purdue. As a result some of the tackles are being looked at on the outside in certain packages. Sadly, I've yet to hear anything about Higgs being moved forward to an end...clearly he's not as good of a fit as he seems to be on paper.
-Hope is always upbeat, so it's not out of the ordinary to hear him overly-positive after any practice, let-alone early camp. His early interviews have been on par with the precedent we've all come to expect. He sees the team as being very fast and very physical and is really impressed with the bench press of the defensive linemen- I think he's talked about it, in some form, each day after practice.
-From what it sounds like, Purdue doesn't have a well-rounded TE in the group, but a few guys who can catch, and some others that can block. Specifically, Gabe Holmes has been mentioned multiple days as a guy who is going to make plays with the ball in his hands...that's not surprising if you've kept an eye on him since he was a recruit.
That said, it'll be harder for the offense to fool anybody when the non-hands TEs come in the game until Holmes blocking technique can catch up with his abilities as a receiver.
-Chris Carlino looks like Captain Morgan.
Nothing to be Excited about
When Derek Willis verballed to Painter a few months ago, I had never heard of the kid. When I started looking and finding video of him playing this summer, I thought Painter had found a real diamond and a guy who would be an instant-impact player when he arrived on campus.
But, as we usually do here at BS, we didn't say a whole bunch about it.
And, when he started flaking, we didn't say too much about that either. As Willis started lilting away from Purdue, the message boards and Twitter were ablaze with fans all but begging him to stay and other still cursing him. I don't really care to do either. There's plenty of time to find another good sized kid...and hopefully Painter can find one of similar quality. Regardless, I don't really want a kid on campus that doesn't want to be there...and Willis and his entourage clearly don't want him in West Lafayette. Let's all move on.
There's still a ton of speculation & trepidation about where Gary Harris and AJ Hammonds will end up...and no one really knows at this point...and that frustrates some of those who spend too much time watching the recruiting ticker.
But, neither of these guys jumped too early and were forced to go back on their word. Hopefully one or both decide to play for Matty. Outside of that, I don't have too much to say about them.
Flightless Bird No More?
Hummel was cleared a bit ago to go all-out on the basketball court, but from all counts, it sounds like he's not pushing too hard and is taking his comeback slowly. His Dad said it best- Just as he was given the all-clear, most of his teammates left campus as summer school was over...so even if he wanted to run full court, he couldn't do it with his teammates.
I bet he's been kicking the arse of profs, TAs and townies that find their way into the Co-Rec. Who's got next?