Holy smokes, does time ever fly! We are officially down to single digits in the Kickoff Countdown, and that means that the college football season is so close I can taste it! Waiting another nine days will be tough, since I am incredibly excited and all. But, I figure I have already waited plenty of days for this moment to come. So, to keep myself and others distracted for a little bit longer, let's turn to the Countdown.
Today, we feature two players once again. Oddly enough, they're both from the same town, but different high schools. Other than that, they share very little in common. With 9 more days until the conclusion of this series, we now look at sixth year senior QB Robert Marve and true freshman DB Anthony Brown.
Robert Marve - Sr. (RS)
Hometown: Tampa, FL (Plant HS)
6'1", 212 pounds
2012 Projection: Contributor at Quarterback
Robert Marve returns to Purdue this year with a rare sixth year of eligibility, granted to him by the NCAA due to his knee injury that cost him most of last season. He is projected to be the #2 QB behind Caleb TerBush this year, but Coach Hope insists that he will see the field a lot this fall, along with Rob Henry.
Like TerBush, Henry and the whole notion of Purdue's current 3 QB system, Marve has been a very polarizing figure in West Lafayette since he showed up. After transferring from the University of Miami in 2009, #9 was finally eligible in 2010. He was named the starting Quarterback before the start of that season and many great things were expected of him. Unfortunately, Marve blew out his knee halfway through the year.
When the next season rolled around he lost his starting job to TerBush, who has returned from being academically ineligible. This was partly due to the long-ass amount of time it took Marve's ACL to heal. Another could be the great play we saw from TerBush and Henry when they were healthy and eligible in the past two seasons. But, yet another reason could been that Marve hasn't been all that spectacular in his time at Purdue so far. In two seasons, 14 appearances and four starts, Robert has completed 128 passes out of 208 attempts for 1145 yards, 7 TDs and 9 picks, giving him a QB rating of 110.2 (69.5 if calculated with the NFL formula).
Don't get me wrong. He hasn't been terrible. Marve just isn't a very consistent QB. And he isn't astounding in any one area. He has decent arm strength and passing accuracy at best. His pocket presence is OK, but he is oblivious to opposing rush all too often. And he isn't all that mobile of a QB either.
Between TerBush and Henry, someone else can do any of those things as good or better than Marve. But, what #9 does do really well is something the other QBs might not be as great at. He is a great leader and he knows how to win ball games. See Ohio State last year. He understands how to best utilize the pieces around him and he has impressed and/or befriended most of his teammates since he has been at Purdue. He is a vocal leader of the football team and for some reason he has that "X" factor to win games and help our offense succeed when it really matters. Say what you want about Marve--I just nitpicked the crap out of him--but the guy has given us plenty of evidence that he can lead our team to success.
While Robert Marve has lost out on being the starter for Purdue once again--Caleb TerBush was officially announced as the starter recently--he is sure to contribute in a big way in 2012. Hopefully he has made improvements to his game in the offseason and he can come out guns blazing for a memorable, final college campaign.
Anthony Brown - Fr.
hometown: Tampa, FL (Hillsborough HS)
5'11", 185 pounds
2012 Projection: Likely redshirt
Anthony Brown is the type of player who could make a huge difference for the Boilermakers in the near future. He hails from Hillsborough High School in Tampa, Florida, where he played both Defensive Back and Running Back for the Terriers. During his senior season last year, he recorded 25 tackles, including 15 solo stops, and two interceptions while on defense. He also gained 911 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns on 139 carries and caught 18 passes for 239 receiving yards and one TD last year. And as a kickoff returner, he averaged 24.1 yards per return in 2011. In addition, Brown was also a track star in high school. He clocked a 10.58 100 meter dash and a 21.60 200 meter dash in last year's 3A Florida state high school track meet.
Clearly, Anthony possesses many skills which he can use to contribute to the football team in the future. He is fast, athletic and versatile like few others on the gridiron. That is probably why he was considered a three star recruit last year, while earning scholarships from schools like Ball State, IU, Iowa State, Ohio and Washington State before he committed to Purdue.
It is not clear yet whether or not the coaches plan to use Brown at Cornerback, Safety, Returner or even Running Back. But, whatever pans out for the kid, he will likely get the redshirt this season. He is far down the depth chart at all of his possible positions, yet that doesn't mean he is guaranteed not to dress. Hell, if we are stricken with injuries again like we have been in the pass, the coaches might just have to call on Anthony Brown in 2012.