FORT WAYNE – Purdue opens camp today, looking to make a move in the Big Ten’s Leaders Division.
Here are five things to follow as the Boilermakers prepare for the Sept. 1 opener against Eastern Kentucky.
Purdue enters camp with an experienced group of quarterbacks.
Caleb TerBush is slated at No. 1 after starting all 13 games last season and helping the Boilermakers win the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. Robert Marve had a strong spring and is the No. 2 quarterback. Rob Henry, who entered last year’s camp as the starter before suffering a knee injury, is Purdue’s third option.
There’s an opportunity for each one of those guys to be a major contributor this season, coach Danny Hope said at Big Ten media day last week. We have a master plan in place. One we’ve wanted to utilize over the last couple of years. But injuries have not allowed us to go in that direction.
Purdue will have to find a replacement for Carson Wiggs at kicker. Freshman Paul Griggs, who was ranked the No. 3 kicker in the nation by Scout.com, is listed on the depth chart in the team’s media guide as one possibility. Fellow freshman Thomas Meadows was ranked the No. 18 kicker in the nation by Scout.com. Sam McCarthy was redshirted last season after joining the team as a walk-on.
Making a run
Ralph Bolden continues to recover from an ACL injury suffered in the last year’s regular-season finale at Indiana. That means Akeem Shavers and Akeem Hunt will lead the way for Purdue’s running game. Shavers rushed for 519 yards. Hunt rushed for 287, 100 of which came in a win at Indiana.
The fact that we have Akeem Shavers back and Akeem Hunt back is really important, Hope said. They are both fast players, Shavers is a physical player. He was our second-leading rusher last year, very mature, very dedicated. Leads by example. And Akeem Hunt, a true freshman last year, we weren’t sure where he would be at as far as playing Big Ten football. He was a very pleasant surprise, a class sprinter, very fast.
The Boilermakers named Tim Tibesar the defensive coordinator/linebackers coach in January. Greg Burns (defensive backs) and Kevin Wolthausen (defensive line) were added in February. At Big Ten media day, defensive tackle Kawann Short and cornerback Ricardo Allen both said the transition has gone smoothly.
More new faces
Rivals.com ranked Purdue’s 2012 recruiting class at No. 4 in the Big Ten on signing day, ahead of Iowa, Wisconsin and Penn State. Which players will make a difference?