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Pre-Spring Practice Position Breakdown: Quarterback

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The Legend returns after a long hiatus to break down the Purdue roster heading into Spring practice. Please forgive him for bringing up something as painful as football during basketball season.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

I'm not going to lie, all things Purdue football have been depressing this season, recruiting included. It's tough to post updates on recruits who are jumping off the listing S.S. Hazell and finding life rafts with more stable programs. That being said, the football program will continue on, and therefore, it's time for me to get busy. I'll be taking a look at different position groups heading into spring football, and trying to do a little recruiting prognostication along the way.


This position would seem to be somewhat settled heading into the spring, with David Blough taking over during the second half of the season and putting up an occasional solid effort. However, everything was again put into flux with the firing of John Shoop. Blough is the type of quarterback that works well in a spread offense. He doesn't have the strongest arm, but he is fairly accurate in the mid- and short-passing game. Blough also brings solid mobility and can throw the ball on the run. Now the question becomes: is Purdue going to stay with the spread? Until notified otherwise, I'm just going to assume that Terry Malone is going to take over as the offensive coordinator, and Terry Malone is not a spread coach. This opens things back up at the quarterback position, and the guy that best fits the offense should get the nod in this battle.

David Blough - RS Sophomore: As mentioned, Blough was probably heading into the spring as the favorite for the starting position, but with a new offensive coordinator coming in (or at least changing offices), every position should be up for grabs.



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Blough replaced Appleby, but put up almost identical numbers. The positive is that Blough as a RS freshman was putting up the same numbers as the RS Junior Appleby, and Blough brought some energy to the program. The negative is that he still only led Purdue to 1 victory, threw some truly head scratching interceptions, and missed some huge passes down the field. If Shoop was back at Purdue, I would go ahead and pencil in Blough, but his resume isn't impressive enough to guarantee the job with a new coordinator.

Austin Appleby - RS Senior: Appleby was the starter coming into the season, but gave way to David Blough after several lackluster performances that probably cost Purdue a few wins.


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Appleby was the player Appleby has always been, and probably always will be. He's a solid leader, makes some good plays, but also makes some astonishingly bad plays. He's a big guy with a funky release that holds the ball too long and gives up sacks. He's a nice guy to have on the bench, but just isn't a starter at the Big 10 level.

Elijah Sindelar- RS Freshman - Sindelar sat out the year recovering from a terrible triad (ACL, MCL, Meniscus) tear in his last high school football game. He is the highest rated quarterback coming out of high school on the Boilermaker roster, and has a plethora of state records in Kentucky.

I think Sindelar has a punche'rs chance to win this competition if Terry Malone ends up as the Boilermaker O.C. At Michigan, Malone ran a pro style offense that featured a strong running game and a down-the-field play-action passing game. Malone did best with Chad Henne as his quarterback, and Sindelar is the quarterback on the roster that most resembles Henne, at least coming out of high school.


I think Hazell desperately wants stability at quarterback, and will stick with Blough. Appleby looks at graduate transfer options, but stays as the #2 quarterback. However, if Blough struggles, Sindelar get the first look.

Best Case Scenario:

Sindelar is a stud, wins the job, and actually performs on the field.

Worst Case Scenario:

Sindelar wins the job and Blough and Appleby transfer, leaving Purdue with 1 scholarship quarterback.

Recruiting Implications:

Purdue has no quarterbacks on the radar that I know of, and don't plan on taking a quarterback in this class. However, if the worst case scenario comes to pass, look for Purdue to scramble for a JuCo.