Today is the first double player day I have had to do in awhile, and one of those players is already projected as a starter for the first time in his career. The other is a running back way down on the depth chart. Let's begin with the starter:
Kevin Ballinger - Sr.
Hometown: Bluffton, IN (Bluffton HS)
6'3", 213 pounds
2011 Projection: starter at long snapper
It is sad that we had to replace two thirds of The Blur after both John Finch and Kris Staats graduated, but one of their replacements is as much of a character if not more. Kevin Ballinger has been a long-time Hammer & Rails follower and he is even a blogger himself. His blog, Snapping Necks, has him poised to become the Mark Titus of college football.A recent entry:
During my drive back to Purdue from my home town of Bluffton, Indiana I started to think about all of my skills, and they are as follows:
- eating skills
- facebook creeping skills
- chop stick skills
- hat wearing skills
- sandwich making skills
- sword fighting skills
- long hair skills
- afraid to talk to girls skills
- mustache skills
- American pride skills
- immature skills
- ability to read for long periods of time in the bathroom skills
- fanny pack skills
- ability to avoid doing the dishes skills
- getting parking ticket skills
- memorizing songs skills
- Jedi skills, and various other Star Wars skills (pod racing, droid building, etc.)
- driving safely skills
- dancing skills
- being awkward skills
- comic book reading skills
- beer drinking skills
- hand-eye coordination skills
- sarcasm skills
As you can see, like most long snappers, I got skillz.
While still at Bluffton HS Ballinger was an excellent student and won the Bob Ulmer Memorial Award in Track. He had more success as a basketball player, where Bluffton was one of the better Class 2A teams in the state before losing to Deshaun Thomas and Ft. Wayne Luers in the sectional every year. We need guys like on the team for sure!
Kurt Freytag - So. (RS)
Hometown: Carmel, IN (Carmel HS)
6'2", 237 pounds
2011 Projection: reserve at fullback
When Freytag was plying his trade at Carmel high school we were more excited to be getting his teammate, Jordan Brewer. We were also recruiting Morgan Newton, his quarterback. Newton eventually went to Kentucky, while Brewer did not qualify academically. Freytag decided to walk-on at Purdue after winning a state title with the Greyhounds in 2007 and being a runner-up in 2006 and 2008. He brings a winner's attitude to the program, playing for a team that has played in the last four state championship games in Indiana. He was also a high school teammate of John Finch.
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