The surprise departure of punter Austin McGehee has placed today's player into a much more prominent role this year, mostly out of necessity.
Thomas Meadows - Jr.
Maidens, VA (Goochland HS)
6', 183 pounds
2014 Projection: starter at punter
Through two years Meadows has served in only one role: as a kickoff specialist. He has averaged 59 yards per kick with 12 touchbacks, but has struggled to consistently get the ball all the way to the end zone. In high school he averaged over 41 yards per punt and was a high school All-American, but with Cody Webster owning the punter's job he has been relegated solely to kickoffs. Even there, he has produced with six touchdown saving tackles.
With the departure of Webster and McGehee, Meadows is most likely Purdue's punter by default. He was expected to be one of four players battling for the placekicker's job too, but it is now a lot more likely that he will serve solely as the punter and leave the kicker's battle to Paul Griggs and Ian McDougall.
Off the field Meadows has twice been an Academic all-Big Ten selection.