Today's player could play a very large role in the Purdue offense as we head intot he 2013 season. He is a big running back that is very similar to a player who rushed for over 1,000 yards under Darrell hazel last season.
Brandon Cottom - Jr.
Newton, Pennsylvania (Council Rock North)
6'2", 256 pounds
2013: Projection: Major contributor at running back
One of the best players in terms of yards per carry on the team last year was Cottom, and he returns fully healthy after tearing his ACL in 2011 and playing in all 13 games last year slightly limited by it. Cottom only had 23 carries, but finished with 209 rushing yards and two touchdowns. That is nearly a 10 yards per carry average. Yes, it was buoyed by an 87 yard score against Eastern Michigan, but he was a big play threat that was criminally underused in the Nordfense.
Last year coach Hazell had Trayion Durham as a featured back to go with Dri Archer and both rushed for over 1,000 yards. Durham is 6'1", 248 pounds, so he is a similar type of back to Cottom. He had 1,316 yards and 14 touchdowns for the Golden Flashes, so it is nice that a similar type of player, that is expected to fill a similar role, had success under Hazell.
For his career Cottom has 279 yards on just 31 carries in 24 career games. He also has two touchdowns. Last season he was effective out of the backfield with seven catch for 79 yards and two scores, one of them coming in the bowl game. He has a 9 yards per carry average for his career, which fortunately will no longer be overlooked.