It is quite possible that today's player used his original countdown entry from a few seasons ago as motivation to eventually become Purdue's starting safety. He is a former walk-on that I once dismissed as merely a practice body:
Though he is a walk-on, at least we're getting a talented kid. Sure, it will likely be years before he sees the field, if at all, but he can still be a contributor.
I am glad I was wrong.
Landon Feichter - Jr.
Fort Wayne, Indiana (Dwenger HS)
6', 189 pounds
2013 Projection: Starter at Safety
Where the motivation comes from that article is Landon himself read it and took some offense to being dismissed as "just a walk-on". Since then he has worked his but off and passed a larger number of scholarship players to become a critical player on defense.
The story behind Feichter getting on the football team is that Danny Hope invited him as a walk-on thinking he was related to former Purdue players. He was not. He spent the 2010 season redshirting and biding his time on the practice field before debuting as a surprising contributor during the 2011 season. An Academic all-Big Ten selection in 2011, he played in all 13 games as a reserve and on special teams and even made a start. He finished with 25 tackles, including eight against Notre Dame.
Then there was last season, where he led Purdue in tackles with 80 and tied for the Big Ten lead with four interceptions. One of his interceptions was returned for a touchdown against eastern Kentucky. A second should have sealed the upset at Ohio State, but the offense was unable to get a clinching first down.
Those picks gained a lot of notoriety conference-wide. He remains a hard worker that has surprised many along the way:
"When he was on the scout team, we'd come in at night and watch the offense, and I'd ask the coaches all the time, 'Who is that guy?'" said Boilermakers head coach Danny Hope.
"He'd really run fast to the wall and hit people, and compete and fight for the ball in the air. He had a lot of fight and scrap about him, a nose for the football. Very, very fast but was a little undersized."
Feichter brings the type of attitude Purdue needs. He is now on scholarship and has a big 2013 season ahead of him.