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12 Days to Purdue Football: Austin Appleby

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The junior quarterback holds the keys to Purdue's success in 2015.

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 12 jersey is practically the shirt of legends if you're a quarterback at Purdue, so it is appropriate that today's player is trying to stake his claim to being that next good quarterback.

Austin Appleby - Jr.

North Canton, OH (North Canton Hoover HS)

6'5", 239 pounds

Quarterback

2015 Projection: Starting quarterback

I fully expect an announcement later today that Appleby has retained his job as the starting quarterback. He has had a solid fall camp, did well in the spring, and he is the only quarterback on the roster with any live experience. He has patiently waited his time, but started the final seven games last season and had the offense playing the best it has played under Darrell Hazell. It only paid off with a single win, but he generally played well and finished with 1,449 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also showed surprising rushing ability with 198 yards and five scores.

As I have said before, we don't need Appleby to be Drew Brees. We only need him to be Joey Elliott. We need consistency and leadership from him. As long as he can do that and the offense sustains drives things can turn around in a hurry.