While Rob Henry took the majority of No. 1 snaps yesterday today it was Danny Etling's turn with the top offense. He seemed to do okay, as coach Hazell was more pleased today with the team overall. Yesterday was mostly a nerves issue:
Hazell said fr. QB Danny Etling admitted he was nervous Sat. "He wasn't the only one. Some of those older guys were nervous too." #Purdue— mike carmin (@carminjc) August 4, 2013
There really wasn't much news about separation between the two. It seemed as if Etling struggled a little yesterday and there was a moment in an 11 on 11 drill that Etling was picked off by Landon Feichter. Again, we'll see more on this over the course of the next two weeks. It is a marathon, not a sprint.
Another new starter:
As I mentioned in the Offensive Line preview last week, there was going to be some flux between the freshmen coming out of their redshirt and more established players. It looks as if part of that is coming true. Today Jordan Roos moved into the No. 1 role at guard over Cody Davis:
Jordan Roos working with first-team offense at right guard in place of Cody Davis. #Purdue— GoldandBlack.com (@GoldandBlackcom) August 4, 2013
It still appears that Robert Kugler is the only definite starter. I don't have a problem with the freshmen joining him, either. If you have 3-4 freshman join Kugler (a sophomore) you have the potential for a very special line in a year or two as they gel together. The other factor is that Justin Kitchens, Devin Smith, Cody Davis, and Kevin Pamphile weren't exactly a wall last year, either.
Not good news on defense:
I am not a fan of this tweet:
#Purdue commit Gelen Robinson (@Gelen_Andre) also just showed up for practice. Could use him now.— GoldandBlack.com (@GoldandBlackcom) August 4, 2013
Yikes. This can't be a good sign when Robinson would likely outperform any other linebacker on the roster, especially with some of the experience on hand with Will Lucas and Sean Robinson. Drue Tranquill is likely in the same boat, and Notre Dame is officially trying to poach him with an offer earlier in the weekend. Ben Smith had some good things to say about that:
There are quotes you can hang around a guy's neck and play hacky-sack with, and this is one of them. The hamstringing of five-star recruit Eddie Vanderdoes - who changed his mind after signing with Notre Dame and decided to play at UCLA, prompting Kelly to refuse to release him from his national letter of intent - was all about "integrity," the way it got spun in South Bend. Kid made a commitment. Just wasn't right not to honor it.
This from a man who, before the sweat had dried from the BCS championship game, was batting his eyes at the Philadelphia Eagles, despite the contract he'd pledged to honor with Notre Dame.
This from a man who, not 72 hours after blathering about the "integrity" of the NLI program, was extending an offer to Carroll recruit Drue Tranquill a week after Tranquill pledged his troth to Purdue - simply because Tranquill can't officially sign until February.
In terms of impact true freshmen it looks like Dan Monteroso and Dalyn Dawkins took turns fielding punts as Purdue looks to improve an area that has pretty much been a non-factor for years. Ever since 2009 Purdue has basically had a guy back like Waynelle Gravesande to simply catch the ball. We haven't had a return game to speak of since Aaron Valentin returned a punt for a TD against Northern Illinois in 2009, then fumbled the next two away.
Kirk Barron, an offensive line commit, will also enroll early in January. He has been a big leader in terms of getting more 2014 guys on board, so I like his enthusiasm.