Today is one of the first days where two players share a number and both will likely see plenty of playing time. Charlton Williams has been a solid reserve and part-time starter in the secondary for several seasons. Rob Henry, of course, is very likely the starting quarterback. While these guys aren;t the most famous players to wear 15 at Purdue, they both should make an impact this season.
Charlton Williams - Sr.
Hometown: Tamarac, FL (Coral Glades HS)
6'2", 200 pounds
2011 Projection: Contributor in the secondary
Williams is one of the very few players on the roster that knows what it is like to play in a bowl game. He played in all 13 games during the 2007 season as a true freshman before redshirting the next year. Since then, he has played in an additional 18 games. Last season he played in 10 of 12 games, started one, and had a modest 21 tackles with a sack.
Williams is big at 6'2" for a cornerback, and he will probably see the field quite often to give either Josh Johnson or Ricardo Allen a break. he can also play in nickel packages. While he may not start, he is a key reserve whose experience will be beneficial.
Rob Henry - So.
Hometown: Ocala, FL (Trinity Catholic)
6'2", 198 pounds
2011 Projection: Starter at quarterback
What a year Rob Henry had last year. He had his first career action at Notre Dame and showed he could move the offense with his legs. He then became the starter by default when Robert Marve went down and Caleb TerBush was ineligible. He led us to a decent upset of a good Northwestern team on the road, then nearly had the index finger on his throwing hand ripped off at Ohio State. Now he enters 2011 as the likely starter, his finger is messed up a little, but healed, and he is a team captain as a redshirt sophomore.
I have like Henry from the beginning. When I heard that he was a leader before coming to Purdue by contacting the Florida recruits in his class and keeping them on board I was impressed. He passed for 996 yards and eight touchdowns while rushing for a team high 547 yards and four more scores. I think he performed well considering the situation we were in at the end of the year.
I expect big things from Henry this year. We don't need him to go mad bomber on teams like Brees and Orton did. What we do need is a steady leader that can consistently move the football and keep our defense rested. Henry can do that either running or throwing. He's got next in terms of being in the Cradle.