Today is the first day of two players sharing a number on this year's roster. Both players have yet to see much action on he field, and it is entirely possible that won't change this year. First is junior defensive end Eric Mebane.
Eric Mebane - Jr. (RS)
Hometown: Grand Prairie, TX (Bowie HS)
6'3", 221 pounds
2011 Projection: deep reserve at defensive end
Counting his redshirt season Mebane has yet to take the field in West Lafayette over the last three years. He has been buried in the rotation at defensive end, and with players like Ryan Russell and Ryan Isaac seeing playing time while being behind him in eligibility, I don't know if he breaks through this year. Mebane was a member of Joe Tiller's final recruiting class in 2008. He redshirted his first season, and saw no action last year as a redshirt freshman. Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Utah were some of the better programs that were showing him interest, but he was only a two-star recruit in one of our lowest rated classes ever. Currently, he is majoring in Communications, so may God have mercy on his soul since I also hold a Communications degree from Purdue.
Like most two-star recruits, Mebane was a good, but not great player in high school. He was an all-district selection as a senior with 82 tackles, 23 for loss, and 16 sacks as a senior at Bowie High. He concentrated on team success, helping Bowie to a 12-2 overall record and a deep run in the Texas State high school playoffs. More recently, Bowie was unfortunately in the news for the death of a player following a workout. His class at Bowie was quite accomplished, as 15 players went on to play college football at some level.
Justin Sinz - Fr. (RS)
Hometown: Edgar, WI (Edgar)
6'4", 225 pounds
2011 Projection: contributor at tight end
It will be interesting to see where an athletic player like Justin Sinz pans out int he tight end rotation this year. Sterling Carter was recruited to play immediately as a JuCo transfer. Gabe Holmes has in-game experience already. Patrick Bade made the jump and was highly recruited two years ago before switching to basketball. Sinz is an athletic former quarterback that moved to tight end once he got to Purdue.
Sinz was a four year starter and an all-state caliber quarterback, a pretty good defensive back, and was even a first team all-conference kicker. He is also quite a basketball player. That tells me he has the same amount of pure athleticism that many of our other recruits have.
As for his high school season's honors, he was only named Wisconsin's AP state Player of the Year in leading Edgar to a state championship. Edgar outscored teams by a whopping 651-20 in going 14-0. Like many of the other guys on the list above, he is simply a winner. That means he has a place on my football team. I think he finds a place to contribute somewhere on this team before he graduates. his size makes him an intriguing option int he red zone too, though not as much as Bade's 6'8" frame.