Today we have two players again, but it is an incoming freshman and a fifth-year senior that enters his fourth season as a starter. The thing is, you may not even know he was a four-year starter.
Jesse Schmitt - Sr.
Louisville, Kentucky (Trinity HS)
6'2", 250 pounds
2014 Projection: Starter at Long snapper
A former HS teammate of Joey Warburg and the now departed Dalyn Dawkins, Schmitt has been a mainstay at Purdue for half a decade now. He was recruited under Danny Hope specifically as one of the best long snappers in the nation and he will give way to another recruited long snapper in the 2015 class. The reason you may not know him is because he is so good at his job. Purdue has not had a single bad snap during his career that I can recall, and usually the only reason you know the long snapper's name is if you're an obsessive blogger like me or the guy screws up (Andy Standifer in the 1998 Alamo bowl, anyone?).
Schmitt is a three-time Academic all-Big Ten selection and has even hustled downfield to recovered a pair of fumbled punts, one of which set up the lone touchdown at Cincinnati last season.
Like his predecessors, Jesse is a bit of a character, and he is the focus of a new summer intern series:
Keiwan Jones - Fr.
Ocala, FL (Dunnelon HS)
6'2", 283 pounds
2014 Projection: possible redshirt
The second No. 50 on the roster is a strong candidate to redshirt, mostly because there is a lot of depth and experience at the position in front of him. That doesn't mean he won't have an impact before his career is done. Jones is a very promising defensive tackle prospect that brings good size as a three-star recruit. Like so many of our incoming guys, he was a team leader and had 89 tackles with 8 sacks in his final year of high school.
Jones is a guy I really liked when he announced his recruitment. The only thing that will keep him from the field is the fact that we had a lot of freshmen defensive linemen play minutes last year.