2012 Game Preview – Purdue

What to watch on offense

Danny Hope was an assistant under former Purdue HC Joe Tiller from 1997-2001. Hope returned to Purdue in 2007 as the named successor to Joe Tiller who retired a year later. DHope PurdueAn OL coach by trade, Hope maintained Tiller’s spread offense but has incorporated a zone based running attack to create some balance offensively. Purdue is still among the conference leaders in passing but they are no longer completely dependent on completing passes in order to win games.

Since taking over Purdue, Danny Hope has consistently used multiple QBs. Former Miami QB Robert Marve was expected to lock down the QB position when he transferred to Purdue in 2009. Injuries and the emergence of the more athletic Caleb Terbush has lead Purdue to continue the practice of rotating QBs. Marve is the better passer and is used primarily in that role while Terbush poses a duel-threat to opposing defenses.

RB Ralph Bolden was expected to carry a heavy load this season after posting more than 700 yds a year ago. Unfortunately for Purdue, Bolden’s late season injury from a year ago has kept him out of the lineup so far this season. Bolden has been a light participate in Purdue practices this week and he has stated that he’s ready to play. Danny Hope has kept his cards close to the vest in an effort to keep the Michigan coaches in the dark about the possibility of Bolden returning on Saturday. Akeem Shavers who filled in for Bolden at the end of last season has averaged 60 yds on the ground per game this season while in a time share with sophomore Akeem Hunt.

Purdue’s receiver core lost just one player from last year’s team, returning much of the unit intact. Senior Antavian Edison is the leading receiver but far from the only weapon in the Purdue WR core. Juniors OJ Ross and Gary Bush have also played key roles helping Purdue rank 2nd in the Big 10 in passing offense.

Purdue lost its best offensive linemen from a year ago to graduation but still returns 3 starters including Honorable Mention All-Big 10 guard Peters Drey. Purdue lacks size on the offensive line, especially at the tackles. Converted DT Justin Kitchens returns at the RT but weighs in at just 275lbs while brand new LT Trevor Foy checks in at 287lbs.

Best Offensive Player

WR Antavian Edison – If he was healthy and certain to play this spot would list Ralph Bolden as the best offensive player. As it stands the best offensive player for Purdue this season has been Antavian Edison who has averaged more than 11yds per reception and scored 5 TDs this season.

Head Coach– Danny Hope-4th year

Off Coor– Gary Nord-4th year

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Adversary Recruiting (December)

Big Ten Recruiting For The Month of December

2011 Big Ten Recruiting Rankings (As of 12/5)

1Ohio State University BannerStatus quo, still.7University of Michigan BannerLoses Sousa and Hart (maybe?). Hopefully Dee is temporary.
2University of Nebraska BannerJackson is a very good get.8Indiana University BannerTwo decommits and the firing of the coach; not the best month.
3University of Notre Dame BannerThe loss of Justice Hayes stings a bit.9Northwestern 3x5 FlagTwo losses in the class, but still solid.
4Michigan State University BannerNo action for the second straight month.10University of Minnesota BannerDespite their poor record and firing of Brewster, they actually have an OK class.
5University of Wisconsin BannerFollows up a nice October with a great November.11University of Illinois BannerPretty meh for a Zooker class.
6University of Iowa BannerJumps Michigan.12Purdue University BannerHad a decent month.
   13Penn State University BannerThey had a good July, but have struggled since.

WisconsinThe Wisconsin Badgers had a good November, following up their impressive October. Tight end/defensive end Austin Traylor was probably the best get for Bucky in November. During his senior year Traylor had 99 tackles and 10 sacks on the defensive side of the ball. Offensively he had 639 yards receiving and five TD’s as a tight end. In Madison he will be a tight end. Austin has offers from Arizona, Boston College, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State and West Virginia among others. Hard – nosed linebacker Derek Watt is the brother of current Badger J.J. Derek was a verbal commit to Northwestern before receiving and accepting the offer from Wisconsin. It is a gray shirt offer, but that was good enough for Watt. Cornerback Darius Hillary is a really good looking athlete. He played returner, corner and safety for his school, but will be a corner in college. He looks pretty good in run support and is a solid tackler. He also has offers from Boston College, UConn, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Stanford among others.

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPIBIOLKIjs[/tube]

PlayerHigh School
Austin TraylorWalnut Ridge H.S.ratingratingratingratingratingratingratingratingratingratingrating
Derek WattPewaukee H.S.ratingratingratingratingratingratingratingratingrating
Darius HillarySycamore H.S.ratingratingratingratingratingratingratingratingrating

Purdue Recruiting had been slow since July for Purdue, but things sped up a little in November with verbal commits from three kids. Akeem Hunt is a very nice looking running back, who will fit in great with Purdue’s scheme. Hunt has a nice combo of vision and balance. And he also has great hands for a running back. Hunt chose the Boilers over Auburn, Minnesota, South Carolina,  Wake Forest and Wisconsin. Doug Gentry should be a great complement to the shifty Hunt. Gentry has a little wiggle to his game as well and runs with pretty good balance and power. During his sophomore and junior seasons Doug combined for nearly 3,700 yards rushing and had 39 touchdowns. He also has an offer from Georgia Tech. Wrapping up Purdue’s November is wideout  Shane Mikesky. The 6’4” Mikesky is a decent blocker and also has pretty good speed.  He’s a bit of a sleeper, but looks like a good athlete with some promise.

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDo_A-R8aYw[/tube]

PlayerHigh School
Doug GentryMexia H.S.ratingratingratingratingratingrating
Akeem HuntNewton H.S.ratingratingratingratingratingratingratingratingrating
Shane MikeskyZionsville H.S.ratingratingratingratingrating

Logo Nebraska continues to roll in recruiting, gaining verbals from highly rated cornerback Charles Jackson and Indiana decommit Max Pirman. Jackson, an Army All-American, possesses very good hips and feet to go along with his excellent speed and size. He is a very aggressive corner who has a world of upside. Charles also has offers from Arkansas, California, Florida, Michigan and Oklahoma among others. Pirman is a little raw and needs to bulk up, but has good potential. He will be a defensive end in Lincoln.

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Adversary Recruiting (December)

2011 Big Ten Recruiting Rankings (As of 12/5)

1.  Ohio State – Status quo, still.

2. Nebraska – Jackson is a very good get.

3. Notre Dame – The loss of Justice Hayes stings a bit.

4. Michigan State – No action for the second straight month.

5. Wisconsin – Follows up a nice October with a great November.

6. Iowa – Jumps Michigan.

7. Michigan – Loses  Sousa and Hart (maybe?). Hopefully Dee is temporary.

8. Indiana – Two decommits and the firing of the coach; not the best month.

9. Northwestern – Two losses in the class, but still solid.

10. Minnesota – Despite their poor record and firing of Brewster, they actually have an OK class.

11. Illinois – Pretty meh for a Zooker class.

12. Purdue – Had a decent month.

13. Penn State – They had a good July, but have struggled since.

The Wisconsin Badgers had a good November, following up their impressive October. Tight end/defensive end Austin Traylor was probably the best get for Bucky in November. During his senior year Traylor had 99 tackles and 10 sacks on the defensive side of the ball. Offensively he had 639 yards receiving and five TD’s as a tight end. In Madison he will be a tight end. Austin has offers from Arizona, Boston College, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State and West Virginia among others. Hard – nosed linebacker Derek Watt is the brother of current Badger J.J. Derek was a verbal commit to Northwestern before receiving and accepting the offer from Wisconsin. It is a gray shirt offer, but that was good enough for Watt. Cornerback Darius Hillary is a really good looking athlete. He played returner, corner and safety for his school, but will be a corner in college. He looks pretty good in run support and is a solid tackler. He also has offers from Boston College, UConn, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Stanford among others.

PlayerHigh School
Austin Traylor    
Derek Watt    
Darius Hillary    

Recruiting had been slow since July for Purdue, but things sped up a little in November with verbal commits from three kids. Akeem Hunt is a very nice looking running back, who will fit in great with Purdue’s scheme. Hunt has a nice combo of vision and balance. And he also has great hands for a running back. Hunt chose the Boilers over Auburn, Minnesota, South Carolina,  Wake Forest and Wisconsin. Doug Gentry should be a great complement to the shifty Hunt. Gentry has a little wiggle to his game as well and runs with pretty good balance and power. During his sophomore and junior seasons Doug combined for nearly 3,700 yards rushing and had 39 touchdowns. He also has an offer from Georgia Tech. Wrapping up Purdue’s November is wideout  Shane Mikesky. The 6’4” Mikesky is a decent blocker and also has pretty good speed.  He’s a bit of a sleeper, but looks like a good athlete with some promise.

Nebraska continues to roll in recruiting, gaining verbals from highly rated cornerback Charles Jackson and Indiana decommit Max Pirman. Jackson, an Army All-American, possesses very good hips and feet to go along with his excellent speed and size. He is a very aggressive corner who has a world of upside. Charles also has offers from Arkansas, California, Florida, Michigan and Oklahoma among others. Pirman is a little raw and needs to bulk up, but has good potential. He will be a defensive end in Lincoln.

Penn State ended its couple month drought, adding three prospects.  Receiver is a priority and PSU cashed in with Allen Robinson and Matt Zanellato.  Robinson (former teammate of PSU’s Robert Bolden) has good hands and does a great job of using his size.  During his senior season he racked up 653 yards and eight scores. Allen could make the switch to one of the safety positions in Happy Valley. Zanellato is an under the radar prospect, but has some nice skills. At 6’4” he uses his size and jumping ability very well. He looks to be a good possession type guy and a dangerous red zone threat. Anthony Alosi is another sleeper recruit for PSU. He could be used as a defensive lineman, but his strengths could be used better as an offensive lineman.

Conner Crowell was Ohio State’s one verbal in November. Crowell is a very active linebacker who is very quick and plays well in space. Unfortunately for Conner, he suffered a broken ankle that will require surgery and months of time on the sideline. As a junior he accounted for 100 tackles and 4 int’s. Crowell also has offers from UConn, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and West Virginia among others.

Iowa got an upgrade in their defense when Nicholas Law joined the class. Law is a nice looking prospect at 6’3″ and runs a 4.4 40. He is an explosive player who plays both safety and linebacker for his school. He is a very physical kid who could excel at either position. Michigan tried to get in on Law late in the game, but he chose the Hawkeyes shortly after. He also has offers from Maryland, Cincinnati, Michigan State, Illinois and North Carolina State among others.

Texas running back Cam McDaniel has drawn some comparisons in former Wolverine Sam McGuffie. The Notre Dame verbal pledge is not quite as flashy as McGuffie, but is much more physical. He also does a great job catching the football, giving him the possibility of lining up in the slot as well. As a senior McDaniel racked up 1,906 rushing yards to go along with 32 touchdowns. He also added 492 yards and 3 TD’s receiving.

Illinois lone verbal is athlete Tyler Marcordes. At a camp this summer in Illinois Marcordes tried out at linebacker, h-back and tight end and showed potential in all three. At nearly 6’4″ and 235 lbs., Tyler runs the 40 in an impressive 4.65. Marcordes is a very versitile football player who has a bunch of upside. He also has offers from Georgia Tech, Illinois State and Northern Illinois.

The decommitment bug hit four teams in the month of November. Indiana (Raymon Taylor and Max Pirman), Iowa (JaCorey Shepard and Melvin Gordon), Northwestern (Derek Watt and Sean Cotton) and Notre Dame (Justice Hayes) all had kids who decided to rethink things a little.

 

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