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30 days to Purdue Football: Joe Holland

Our linebackers have been found wanting for many years now. Part of the reason our run defense has been awful is the loss of players like Landon Johnson and Niko Koutouvides without finding solid replacements. Anthony Heygood was good, but we have mostly been playing the guessing game at linebacker until this season. Today's featured player is more of an answer than a question.

Joe Holland - Jr.

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN (Bishop Chatard HS)


6'1", 225 pounds

2010 Projection: Starter at Linebacker

I was kind of surprised that a position change for Holland never gained traction. He originally came to Purdue as a safety, but we moved out of position to linebacker out of necessity. With Dwayne Beckford Will Lucas, and Antwon Higgs coming on and Jason Werner and Chris Carlino established, Holland's need at linebacker is less. We do need a safety, however.

Holland has established himself as a solid weakside linebacker with 24 consecutive starts. In his career he ahs earned an Academic All-Big Ten honor in 2008, has 157 tackles, and an interception. Those are good, but not fantastic numbers. While at Chatard in high school he was Indianapolis City Player of the Year and All-North Football Player of the Year as senior after rushing for 2,048 yards on 239 carries. He also had an astounding 35 rushing TD's as Chatard won the class 3A state championship. I especially love him because he chose to come to Purdue even though he went to a private Catholic school and both his parents are Notre Dame grads.

Last season the Big Ten Conference selected him as a Face of the Big Ten. He has made academics a priority since he set foot on campus. That's another reason I like him. He's a smart, experienced player that we will rely on this year.

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