Today marks the long-awaited return for Purdue football, and hopefully the beginning of the even longer-awaited turnaround season. Sure, we were teased with a top 15 preseason ranking in 2005, a promising 2009 season, and a new coach in 2013 that ignited a lot of excitement, but since 2004, when Purdue reached No. 5 in the polls, it has been a long, long decline.
But those details are in the past. We are all aware of them and there is no need to rehash them. The 2015 season begins today and with it, hope is renewed. Here is the full two-week camp schedule before classes begin:
Friday, Aug. 7: 3:45 p.m.
Saturday, Aug.8: 10:15 a.m.
Monday, Aug. 10: 10:15 a.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 11: 10:15 a.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 12: 10:15 a.m.
Thursday, Aug. 13: 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 14: 10:15 a.m.
Saturday, Aug. 15: 9:30 a.m. (Kick Scrimmage) and 3:30 p.m
Monday, Aug. 17 : 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m
Tuesday, Aug. 18: 10:15 a.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 19: 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 20: 10:15 a.m.
Friday, Aug. 21: 11:30 a.m. (Kickoff Luncheon)
Saturday, Aug. 22: 11:15 a.m. (Jersey Scrimmage)
Here are your top position battles:
Quarterback: Yes, there is lip service to it being a three-man race, but I would be surprised if Elijah Sindelar came out as the winner. It is likely down to David Blough vs. Austin Appleby. I think in the end Appleby wins, but not by much. He is the incumbent and has all the experience, but Blough had a very good spring.
Running Back: This is another three-man race, but D.J. Knox appears to have a significant lead over Markell Jones and Keyante Green. My guess is that Knox and Green both end up playing quite a bit.
Tight End: We have virtually no experience, and as a result it could mean more wide receivers on the field. Redshirt freshman Cole Herdman looks like the top pass catching option. Jordan Jurasevich, a former walk-on, is an excellent blocker.
Rush End: Purdue desperately needs a pass rush and with Gelen Robinson suspended at least two games it will have to come from somewhere else. Right now JuCo transfer Shayne Henley and sophomore Antoine Miles are at the top. I would like to see at least one of them do well as opposed to merely hold the spot until Robinson returns.
Long Snapper: Yes, we lost a four-year starter here. With Ben Makowski coming in this could be a one-year battle where he becomes the next four-year guy. Grant Ellington and John Bednar are also in the mix.
Punter: The last two days on the countdown had shown that Joe Schopper and Thomas Meadows are locked in mortal combat to punt.