17 Days to Purdue Football: Charles Torwudzo and Austin Parker

Today is August 15th. To my happiness, that means that only 17 days separates me and other Purdue football fans from the start of another football season in West Lafayette. I have been waiting nearly an entire year for football to resume. And I can hardly take the waiting any longer. I have tried very hard to be patient and control my anxiousness. But, believe me it's bad. I have played so much NCAA 13 I think I am starting to recognize people in the stands when I pause a game at Ross-Ade and look at the instant replay.

At least the football program helps out fans like me. They gave us a little taste with the spring game in April. And I am told that the team is holding an open practice tomorrow afternoon for Ross-Ade Brigade members, of which I am. So, needless to say, I will be there. I am very excited to get a sneak peek at the team before the regular season starts. God, all of this is just making me more ecstatic!

Well, anyways, I will try to calm myself now. Another reason that 17 days is significant is the Kickoff Countdown. Today we look at both guys who will wear #17 this season: sophomore receiver Charles Torwudzo and freshman QB Austin Parker.

Charles Torwudzo - So. (RS)

Hometown: Brownsburg, IN (Brownsburg HS)

Wide Receiver

6'4", 223 pounds

2012 Projection: Contributor at Wide Receiver

Charles Torwudzo can be a great asset for the Boilermakers in 2012 if the gentleman plays his cards right or (God forbid) he is called upon due to a plague of injuries. He might not have played very much so far in his college career, but he has a few things going for him. The biggest thing to note is his size. The guy is a freakish receiver at 6'4", 223. If I were an opposing Cornerback in the B1G, I would be crapping my pants if I saw this guy come and line up in front of me!

Charles is also very fast and athletic, as displayed by his high school credits. On top of being a two-time all-conference selection at WR for Brownsburg High School, he ran sprints and long-jumped in track and he also played basketball for the Bulldogs.

Torwudzo can certainly use these characteristics to his advantage in 2012, as he looks to finally make a significant contribution to the offense and pull in some catches during the regular season. In his way, however, stand the likes of Antavian Edison, O.J. Ross, Gary Bush, Raheem Mostert and Tommie Thomas. So, instead, it seems that Torwudzo will most likely only see extensive playing time if injuring occur to these guys in front of him this fall.

A spark of hope for Charles remains in the fact that Edison and Thomas are seniors this year, so he has a chance to be the #4 or even the #3 Wide Receiver for the Boilers in 2013. But, until then, he just has to bide him time, continue to work hard and show that he is capable of earning some playing time this year.

Austin Parker - Fr. (RS)

Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN (Mount Vernon HS)

Quarterback

5'11", 202 pounds

2012 Projection: Reserve at Quarterback

This season, Austin Parker enters his freshman year for Purdue football after redshirting in 2011. He walked onto the team last year after playing QB in high school at Mount Vernon. Parker is set to be the fourth string Quarterback in 2012, so he is not expected to see the field. And if he does, you better head for your nearest bomb shelter, because that means disaster.

In front of Parker you have three former starters who will all see some playing in most games this year, according to Coach Hope. Caleb TerBush, Robert Marve and even Rob Henry will see the field plenty of times this year. This is not going to be the case with Parker, who is essentially an insurance policy in case the ACL curse strikes again in 2012.

This year, Austin basically just has to learn the offense to its core and play the waiting game on the sideline until both TerBush and Marve leave and he can possibly challenge the sub-par passer that is Henry for the starting job next season. This sounds well and good. Yet, the only problem is that behind him stands a slew of incoming freshman, or rather, a pack of rabid, hungry dogs looking to take his spot and possibly eat his flesh. Namely Austin Appleby, a 6'5", 235 mega-recruit with a bazooka throwing arm and a serious chance to be hailed as a savior and the next member of the Cradle around West Lafayette in the future.

So, with these things in the back of his mind, Austin Parker should be working his ass off this fall if he wants a legitimate shot at being a starting QB for Purdue sometime in the next few years. It sounds like a long shot, and his height disadvantage (5'11") doesn't help things. But, crazy things have been known to happen.

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