As the Cradle of Quarterbacks we Purdue fans pride ourselves on quality signal callers. That is what made this offseason's battle for the starting job so intriguing. Would Darrell Hazell go with the experienced senior or roll the dice with a freshman that may grow into the next great Purdue quarterback.
Well, we have our answer:
There it is. #Purdue fifth-year senior Rob Henry will get the start at quarterback for the Aug. 31 opener at Cincy. #Boilermakers— Sean Morrison (@sean_morrison) August 18, 2013
Rob Henry, the job is yours.
Henry took the majority of snaps with the No. 1 offense in fall camp and still has the experience of seven starts when he was pressed into service due to injury back in 2010. He has 1,212 passing yards with a 53.5% completion percentage. He also has 11 touchdown passes against eight interceptions. On the ground he has 621 yards and five touchdowns as a versatile threat in the running game.
Honestly, this gives Purdue its best chance to win both this year and in the future. Henry has gained the respect of the team and is a former team captain. The offense has rallied behind his leadership and they trust him. It also allows both Danny Etling and Austin Appleby to develop over time as opposed to being thrust directly into the spotlight. There is a chance Henry could return next year with a 6th year of eligibility since he lost the entire 2011 season due to a torn ACL, but that is far down the road at this point.
This is a good move for Purdue. Henry has performed well in fall practice so far and, with a tough road game to start the season, he has the experience to give Purdue a very good chance against Cincinnati. Remember: Henry was the last Purdue quarterback to lead the Boilers to a road win over a ranked team. Northwestern was ranked No. 25 and 5-0 when Henry rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown in a 20-17 win over them in 2010.
UPDATE: We also now know about Danny Anthrop's injured. He suffered an MCL injury and will be out 6-8 weeks minimum.