Only three months to go until we see Purdue football again. That first game is going to be very interesting because we struggled last year even in the four games we won. Our game against Western Illinois, one that should have been a blowout, was a nasty struggle into the 4th quarter that cost us Keith Smith. That has confidence pretty low at the moment, but routing Middle Tennessee State would raise that.
One of those players that can help is today's featured player, as he returns for his sophomore season with a year's worth of starting experience on the defensive line.
Bruce Gaston - So.
Hometown: Chicago, IL (St. Rita HS)
6'2", 300 pounds
2011 Projection: Starter at defensive tackle
Gaston made an immediate impact in his first collegiate game by getting in on the safety we scored against Notre Dame. After years of having weak defensive tackles we're now solid up front with Gaston and Kawann Short as starters, with depth behind them. Gaston finished his freshman season with 26 tackles, 4.5 for loss, and one sack. While Short is more athletic, Gaston seems to be your more traditional power defensive tackle.It will be interesting to see what he does this year with a full year of conditioning under his belt. I couldn't be more excited about the defensive tackle position with him, Short, and Kevin Pamphile.
Like Ricardo Allen, Gaston brings an attitude I love to the program. During his commitment press conference he mentioned playing for a Big Ten and National Championship. He is a hard worker that earned his starting job as a true freshman last year. Barring injury, he's probably not going to let it go anytime soon. Both he and Short will help us overcome the loss of Ryan Kerrigan, and they make the defensive line a very strong unit on this fall's team. He is an active Twitter participant as well, so I would just like to mention that this site believes in him and is looking forward to a big year.