I hesitate to call today's player the loser in the starting quarterback competition. That would imply he didn't have enough to win the job. Instead, I think Rob Henry went out and got it, while today's featured player will use it as fuel for the future.
Austin Appleby - Fr. (RS)
North Canton, Ohio (North Canton Hoover HS)
6'4", 229 pounds
2013 Projection: Backup quarterback
I have a lot of respect for Austin Appleby. In the spring Danny Etling came in as an early graduate and usurped his role at quarterback. It looks as if it was Henry-Etling-Appleby in that order going into the fall, but Appleby would not have it. He worked hard and it looks like he was able to pass Etling in fall practice. By most accounts he was impressive in moving from the No. 3 offense to the No. 2 offense. In the end, however, Henry was simply better.
Appleby was an Elite 11 Finalist in 2011 and was the top-rated quarterback in the state of Ohio when he committed to Purdue. Next year he will battle two other Elite 11 guys in Etling and David Blough for Purdue's starting job, but he is likely to get some valuable playing time this season after redshirting last year.
In high school his best year was his junior year, when he threw for 1,427 yards and 14 touchdowns in seven games before injuring his knee. He was an all-District selection his final two seasons and at 6'4 he is an old school drop back passer. He is closer to Kyle Orton than Drew Brees, but has a very promising future. Even with Henry as the starter this season I think we'll see Appleby at least once either in mop-up time or if Henry gets shaken up on a play. His getting the No. 2 role could also allow Etling to redshirt.