This past weekend I received a comment on the GBI board that the walk-on previews in this series are among the favorites. I agree with this. Players like Robert Marve, Ryan Kerrigan, and Keith smith always receive a ton of ink. They are the current faces of the program. Guys like Henry Lorenzen and today's featured player, Brad Niemeier are the guys that toil in practice. They put in tons of effort to get maybe a few seconds of actual playing time in their careers. Think of Chris Bennett, a scout team quarterback that had to run three plays against Michigan State in 2008 because we were down to only him due to injury. These are the guys that put their hearts into Purdue football, and I like giving them each a featured article.
Brad Niemeier - So. (RS)
Hometown: Evansville, IN (Mater Dei HS)
6'2", 274 pounds
2010 Projection: Reserve at Defensive Tackle
Niemeier has yet to see the field in his first two seasons at Purdue. He joined up as a walk-on in 2008 and redshirted. Last year he did not play at all. Like many players on this team, he is a smart kid. He was an All-State player in high school and was also an Academic All-State selection. This Hospitality and Tourism Management major was also twice a state champion in wrestling. This was in the team event, as Mater Dei is an Indiana state wrestling power. Mater Dei has won 12 team state championships and won nine in a row from 1995-2003. They won with Niemeier in 2006 and 2007.
In football he nearly won a third state championship. Evansville mater Dei reached the semi-state (state semifinals for those outside of Indiana) in Class 3A in 2006 before losing to state power Indianapolis Chatard 35-7. That tells me he brings a winning attitude to the program even though he doesn't play. Mater Dei dropped down to Class 2A for his senior season, but he was still a first-team All State center on offense.
Niemeier looks like one of those players that could earn his way onto the field before his career is done. He had a plethora of high school honors, but chose to walk-on at Purdue. He seems like a kid willing to put in the hard work necessary of walk-ons. I could see him finding a niche on Special teams before all is said and done.
Boilermakings Notes after The Jump
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