3 Days To Purdue Football: Dwayne Beckford and Waynelle Gravesande

I like the perseverance that both of today's players have shown. Dwayne Beckford had to overcome an eligibility hiccup, but he still came to Purdue. Waynelle Gravesande has seen players younger than him get more time, but he still has found a place.

Dwayne Beckford - Jr.

Hometown: Irvington, NJ (Irvington HS)

Linebacker

6'1", 228 pounds

2011 Projection: Starter at linebacker

Beckord originally committed as a member of the 2008 class, but some issues with a high school course did not get him eligible in time for the season, so he sat out much like Gabe Holmes did in 2009. He enrolled in the spring of 2009 and went through spring practice, allowing him to play as a true freshman in 2009. By the end of the season he was practically a co-starter with Chris Carlino in the middle. He ended up with 34 tackles, having a big game at Michigan with 8.

His numbers improved last year with 10 starts in 12 games at middle linebacker, only one of the most important positions on the field. That led to 84 tackles, good enough to be among the top 15 in the Big Ten. He is now expected to do a lot of things as the "quarterback of the defense" in the middle.

He came to us from Irvington High in New Jersey where his number-mate Gravesande also played. He had first-team All-State honors with 104 tackles and 17 sacks as a senior. Beckford earned the most improved award in spring practice in 2010. At Middle linebacker you need playmakers. It is his time for Beckford to be one.

Waynelle Gravesande - Sr.

Hometown: Irvington, NJ (Irvington HS)

Wide Receiver

6'0", 192 pounds

2011 Projection: Contributor at wide receiver

Gravesande is an interesting player. He has had a slow progression each year, playing just a little more than the last. He redshirted his first year, then had just two catches for 13 yards in the massive blowout of Indiana in 2008. On 2009, as a redshirt sophomore, he made a splash because he could catch punts. That doesn't sound like much, but when we struggled to find someone who could actually catch punts for most of the season it became a big deal. He had one 11 yard reception against Ohio State, but returned 11 punts for 51 yards over the course of the season. In 2010 he had no receptions, but he was once again a punt returner with 14 returns for 60 yards.

As a senior in high school Gravesande had a big year with 52 catches for 797 yards and 10 touchdowns. He gives us a steady, safe presence on the field with good hands, so I can see him having a 10-20 catch season this year even given the depth we have at the position.

Off the field, Gravesande is a contributor as well. He does mentoring for the Play It Safe Program put on by the National Football Foundation.

Boilermakings Notes:

Video: Best case/worst case -- Purdue - Big Ten Blog - ESPN
Brian Bennett on the best- and worst-case scenarios for Purdue in 2011.

Scout.com: CFN Prediction - Middle Tennessee at Purdue
Week 1 CFN Fearless Prediction - Middle Tennessee at Purdue

Freshman volleyball player to play dynamic role for team - Purdue Exponent: Volleyball
The Purdue volleyball team is hoping an outstanding team dynamic and exceptional freshmen class will be the keys to a shot at the Final Four this year. An important member of this new class is freshman Valerie Nichol.

Making An Immediate Impact
Rookie middle blocker Kierra KiKi Jones made quite a splash her first weekend as a collegiate volleyball player, nabbing Big Ten Freshman of the Week accolades to go with her Mortar Board Premier MVP title.


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