Log Jam Ahead: Marve to Return

A few of our readers didn't want to read about this, but back in November, we looked ahead to the quarterback situation for 2012.  It was confusing then, it's probably more confusing now.

Marve stretches out for a sixth year of eligibility


Robert Marve transferred from Miami to Purdue.  While at Miami, he redshirted due to an injury to his non-throwing hand from a car wreck.  He started nearly a complete season as a RS Freshman.  After conflict with Shannon, Miami's coach, he moved on to West La La.  Due to NCAA transfer rules, he lost his Soph. year of eligibility. Shortly after announcing his transfer, he tore his ACL.  No sweat- he'd have the year that he was sitting out to recover.

In his fourth start of '10 versus Toledo, Marve faked a pitch and tore the same ACL again in a non-contact play.  He used the remainder of 2010 and spring/summer of '11 to recover from the second knee injury.  Rob Henry was thrust into the starting role as a RS Freshman due to Caleb TerBush being academically ineligible in that same season.  When Henry's finger was crushed v. aOSU, True Freshman Sean Robinson was forced out of a redshirt season and into the starting line-up for a game.  Henry returned to the starting role wearing a glove on his throwing hand...and his accuracy suffered because of the injury...but most of his work was with his feet at that point.

In the summer coming into last fall, Robert Marve and Rob Henry had put themselves as 1 and 1A for the starting job. Caleb TerBush was behind them. But, Marve's knee recovered slowly, so he couldn't take contact in August of '11...and Henry was made the starter.  As Marve was fighting to return to form, he was named in the scandal at the University of Miami as one of the guys that received improper benefits while being recruited to the school. Marve never lost eligibility at Purdue and many believe it's because of his cooperation with the NCAA during their investigation.

As the clear starter heading toward September, Henry blew out his ACL...and TerBush was named the starter.  He started most of last season, but after game three, Robert Marve was worked into action and the dreaded two-QB system became a reality.

With TerBush and Marve splitting snaps, not many Purdue fans were happy, and the results were mediocre. TerBush was criticized for his slow decision making and taking costly sacks.  He managed the game well, and didn't seem to overreach.  Marve was criticized for making poor decisions and trying to force the ball into double and triple coverage. He plays with fire and is a gunslinger and the coaching staff didn't like that he regularly abandoned the script for the game. During the handful of starts in the previous season, he played much more conservatively and his completion percentage showed it.  Justin Siller was also used from time-to-time in the Wildcat; which was effective.  All of the guys who played QB last season were very supportive of one another and positive; I've heard nothing from people on the team or close to the program to counter this.

With Marve and TerBush splitting snaps, Robinson was able to take the redshirt that he couldn't take in '10.  Robinson will be a RS Sophomore in the fall of '12.

Marve petitioned the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility.  Many thought that since Marve was named in the investigation (above) that the NCAA wouldn't grant him another year to play.  I always thought that his willingness to talk actually helped him and it showed that he was trying to turn over a new leaf.   Last night, it was announced by the NCAA that Marve will have one final year of eligibility to play college football.

When we posted our thoughts back in late-November, we knew that Elite 11 Finalist, Austin Appleby would be coming to Purdue.  Appleby (of course) tore his ACL at the end of his Junior season, but started his entire Senior season in HS. The season wasn't a great one for him or his team...and that's probably why his star rating didn't get higher than 3 in spite of his impressive showing on ESPN U's Elite 11 camp last summer.  Appleby is a drop back passer with decent mobility and good size...his game is like a poor man's Andrew Luck out of HS.

Hope has also received two additional verbals for the QB position: Aloyis Gray and Bilal Marshall- both are top-25 dual threat QBs.  Gray (from the Indy area), ranks 23rd, has offers from Cincy, Illinois, IU and Purdue's vanquished Pizza Pizza Bowl opponent (and others). Marshall (from Hialeah, FL) ranks 17th.  He has an impressive list of offers including Baylor, Northwestern and GTech.

Just last week, Hope got the news that Erich Berzinskas would join the crowded stable as a preferred walk-on. Berzinskas threw passes to future Boiler, Carlos Carvajal at Milford Academy last season.  He's a drop-back passer with good size, 6'5", 215lbs and has a lively arm.  Berzinskas decided to go to Milford to try to garner more schollie offers.

We made no bones about our feelings about the two QB system- we don't like it.  We understand that it's good to have guys prepared in case injuries put you in a bind, but coming into '12, Purdue will have four quarterbacks that have started at least one game in college...and three that have started at least six. So, there shouldn't be any need to split QBs just to be ready.  Hope now has the difficult task of evaluating and making the call.  The candidates have workouts, Spring football and Fall camp to make their case that they should be the starter.

During Hope's first season at HC, Joey Elliott* ran an offense that resembled Tiller's offenses at times- "The Duke" wasn't called on to run the ball with regularity, but passed quite a bit...and was solid while doing it.  Last year, we saw Henry run an offense that ran the ball about 70% of the time.  And finally in '11, the offense was extremely balanced...but to me, it looked like it should have been an offense that ran the ball even more since the running backs were having tremendous success.  With a lot of talent back at RB, I would think the balanced paradigm will return in '12.

Let's pretend for a moment that every single candidate for the quarterback position in '12 goes the entire off-season without getting injured...and all of the verbals get to campus without a hiccup.  Here's the what Hope/Nord have at the QB position (as of now):

Robert Marve (6th year Sr, fmr starter)
Caleb TerBush (5th year Sr, fmr starter)
Rob Henry (RS Jr, fmr starter)
Sean Robinson (RS So, fmr starter)

Austin Appleby (Fr)
Bilal Marshall (Fr)
Aloyis Gray (Fr)

Austin Parker (So Walk-On)
Dalapo Macarthy (So Walk-On)
Erich Berzinskas (Fr Walk-On)

Now is the part where I speculate based on what I've heard and read.

Aloyis Gray had a similar high school career as Rob Henry- he played a lot of WR before playing QB his Senior year.  Plus, he was recruited as an athlete by many schools because of his ability at WR.  I think he'd be very likely to see the field, after a redshirt season, at WR. Edison is a Senior and Bush and Ross are both Juniors.

The next candidate to petition for a sixth year of eligibility might be Rob Henry. That would effectively make the coming season his Sophomore year...but I believe they do not tell a player if he's received the additional year until prior to that sixth season..which would be in 2014.

Dalapo Macarthy would seem to be a pretty good candidate to take the Keith Smith, Justin Siller role and shift to the slot receiver position.  He's similarly-sized and is a good athlete...and I see no scenario in which he'll play QB...but we've seen an odd thing or two happen in the past few years for Purdue QBs, haven't we?

There's a lot that can and will happen during this Spring and fall for Purdue QBs...we'll keep an eye on what goes down.

*I saw "The Duke" at the Purdue v. Wisconsin game- he looked much leaner than the last time I saw him...for those of you who don't know, Elliott plays in the CFL...and blew out his knee shortly after graduation. 

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