While the last few days on the countdown have featured either a better known player or we've had a day where no player has yet to be assigned that number, today is different. Starting today with No. 62 on the roster there will be a player represented every day on the countdown until July 27 (day 35). By then, the incoming freshmen will likely have numbers and they can be included.
Thomas Brown - Fr.
Gary, Indiana (Calumet HS)
6'1, 312 pounds
2013 Projection: Deep reserve at defensive tackle
I have to admit that I knew nothing about Thomas Brown until I looked on the countdown and saw h was today's player. He doesn't even have an official bio at PurdueSports.com, so he is a very littleknown walk-on with very good size for the position. Because of that, it is highly unlikely he plays this season, especially at a position with a lot of depth already thanks to Bruce Gaston, Ryan Isaac, Eric McDaniel, Michael Rouse III, Brandon Taylor, and Ryan Watson as six scholarship guys coming back with extensive playing experience.
Brown was an Indiana all-star in football, however, and could be a contributor before all is said and done. He played for a Calumet team that was not very good when he was a senior. In fact, they went 1-9 with the only win coming over Hammond Noll by two points. Still, he excelled enough to get noticed on a bad team:
"He was a four-year starter for us; he played mostly offensive line," Zimmer said. "But he played wherever we needed him. He played every position for us but quarterback."
Both Zimmer and Brown are at Indianapolis University preparing for Friday's North-South All-Star game. Zimmer is entering his 30th year as a high school coach, but this is the first time he's ever been on the North coaching staff.
Having Brown along for the ride only makes the week that much sweeter. Brown, a solid student, is heading to Purdue this fall and is attempting to walk-on for the Boilermakers' football program.
"I believe he's going to make it," Zimmer said. "He's that good of an athlete and that good of a football player."
Not a bad recommendation there. He can play offensive or defensive line, which is key for a walk-on when it comes to depth. Not all lineman can do what he did, either. He blocked six field goals as a junior, served as a punter, and even had a 20-yard reception as a wideout:
A two-way lineman, Brown is the Warriors' top returning tackler this season with 57 total (23 solo), 11 for loss, three quarterback sacks and six blocked field-goal attempts.
Brown also punted for a 32-yard average and graded out at 95.7 percent, offensively.
"I think, on the field, he's really going to open some eyes," coach Ivan Zimmer said. "Last season was just a platform. This year he's really going to tear it up."
He sounds like a hard worker. Hopefully it pays off with some PT later on.