There is not a lot to be happy about right now when it concerns Purdue football, but freshman receiver DeAngelo Yancey has probably the breakout player of the first half of the season. That statement is true even though he did not have a catch in two of the six games so far. Yesterday, Yancey was Purdue only consistent player on offense. He finished with five catches for 146 yards and a touchdown, accounting for nearly 75% of Purdue's offensive output on the day.
It was the second straight game in which Yancey topped 100 yards receiving, and that has never happened before in the history of Purdue football for a true freshman. He became the 36th receiver in Purdue history to have more than one 100 yard receiving game and he is now halfway to the school record for consecutive 100 yard games, which is four held by Rodney Carter and Keith Smith.
Yancey has thrived since Purdue switched from rob Henry to Danny Etling at quarterback. Of Etling's now 425 yards passing Yancey has over half of those as receiving yards, and Yancey is now Purdue's leader in terms of receiving yards with 295 on the season on just 14 receptions. At 21.1 yards per catch on Devin Funchess of Michigan is doing better in the Big Ten.
It is obviously very early, but Yancey's numbers so far as only a freshman bode well for his career. He is on pace for 2,400 yards in his career, which would put him fourth all-time at Purdue behind John Standeford, Taylor Stubblefield, Dorien Bryant, and Brian Alford. All four of them had impressive four-year careers.
As I said, Yancey is probably the lone bright spot from an otherwise dismal day, but considering that Purdue had established depth at receiver and the early projections had Danny Anthrop, Gary Bush, Gabe Holmes, Dolapo Macarthy, and B.J. Knauf getting more catches, Yancey is a pretty nice surprise. He represents a true deep threat that has been missing for awhile at Purdue, and his career should be fun to watch.