As we grow closer and closer to the return of Purdue football, the campus is beginning to buzz with excitement when Saturday is brought up. I spent yesterday and most of today in Indianapolis with a few friends who are now alumni and one of the main topics of conversation was Purdue football and our expectations for the season. Boilermakers everywhere are starting to get that football itch; Saturday can't come soon enough.
Our featured players for today are a couple of young'ns who will be looking to contribute to this team in any way possible. The first player we will look at was a ball hawk of a safety back in high school and will now look to add that to this team.
E.J. Johnson - So. (RS)
Hometown: Cocoa, FL (Cocoa HS)
6'1", 185 pounds
2012 Projection: Reserve at safety
Johnson managed to get a little playing time in last season, but never really made much of a contribution. He finished the season with three total tackles in four games. This year Johnson looks to be one of the top reserves at the safety position, and if he can put his nose for the ball to use he will be an incredibly scary defender out there.
In high school Johnson was notorious for how well he could pick off passes. He had 11 interceptions his last two seasons at Cocoa high school and three of those came in a state championship game. Johnson is also a winner. During his junior and senior season his team won state titles.
Johnson is a tremendous athlete who will be looking to get more playing time this upcoming season. And with the increased playing time hopefully we will start to see an increase in interceptions.
The second player today is a freshmen who is an amazing athlete and will be fun to watch for four years.
Robert Gregory - Fr.
Hometown: Chicago Ill. (Simeon HS)
6'3" 195 pounds
2012 projection: redshirt
Gregory was listed as one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation last year at number 14. He finished his senior year with some pretty awesome numbers: 1,506 pass yards, 28 touchdowns, 919 rushing yards, and 15 rushing touchdowns. The guy could get the ball in the end zone almost any way he wanted to.
Hope has shown that he loves to recruit really athletic quarterbacks and switch their positions. At first I questioned this tactic, but now I'm really starting to like it. Quarterbacks are generally one of the more athletic guys in high school, so why not bring in the best athletes that we can and help polish them off and find them a position that can better suit them?
Gregory is going to be one of our taller running backs at 6'3", which makes me think that he may not stay with that position the whole time. I think that he may end up as a wide receiver with that size and his great running ability. But we'll see where Hope puts him. As for now he looks like an incredibly strong redshirt candidate. Look for him to spend this season learning the system, finding his niche in the team, and adding some more strength.