Today was the second scrimmage of spring football for Purdue in advance of next week’s spring game and the advancement under Jeff Brohm continues. There is only a so much you can take from these scrimmages, especially when Purdue has been as bad as it has been for years. If the offense goes wild you worry about the defense. If the defense dominates you worry about the offense (especially when Shoop was here and the defense was bad, but it showed the offense was atrocious).
Right now Purdue is trying to build depth and, in some places, find serviceable football players. The lines remain a position of major concern. We need to develop wide receivers. There needs to be a hierarchy among the running backs. The only position that appeared to be solid was quarterback.
That said, there were some positives from today:
Jared Sparks – The redshirt freshman might be moving ahead of Elijah Sindelar for the primary backup QB spot behind David Blough. Sindelar struggled a lot last season in a limited role, whole Sparks redshirted. Today Sparks had a 56 yard touchdown run. He shows something a little different at the position as a true dual-threat QB, Blough has 107 yards and 8 TDs in his career, but Sparks came to Purdue as a dual-threat QB and he is even playing some slot receiver this year without moving from QB. He did catch a couple passes today.
Jackson Anthrop – Another freshman coming out of redshirt, Anthrop had a good day as a possible option in the slot. He led Purdue with 5 receptions for 47 yards and a TD. This is good news after big brother Danny had an excellent career. Even better, Jackson is a former 2-star recruit that might be developing into a solid weapon.
Richie Worship – Purdue has a lot of options at running back. Even the prodigal son in Keyante Green has made a little noise. Today Worship led Purdue with 49 yards on 10 carries and 2 TDs. Markell Jones, D.J. Knox, Brian Lankford-Johnson, and Worship give Purdue a lot of choices back there, so this could vary game by game.
Grant Hermanns – Since Martesse Patterson has been dismissed from the team, Matt McCann is hurt, and no one else has much experience Purdue is desperate need of offensive tackles. Hermanns is getting a look left tackle and so far he appears to be an answer. That doesn’t say much, however. As far as I know I might be the backup at offensive tackle, and at 5’11 and only 190 pounds (not to mention being 37 years old and I never played a down of organized football) that’s not a good thing.
Antoine Miles – Miles had at least one sack, two tackles for loss, and a pass breakup. He always appeared to be a potential breakout guy before this season, so naturally Hazell went away from him.
Fred Brown – Defensive tackle is also a position of weakness, so when Brown, a defensive tackle had an interception, that’s good.
J.D. Dellinger – After hitting the game-winner at Illinois last season Dellinger appeared to come on well. Today he hit on a 55 yard field goal, which would be the longest field goal Purdue has made since Carson Wiggs left.
We’ll see more next week at the spring game, but let’s remember that this is a long, long rebuild after what Burke and Hazell did to the program. There is talent to work with, but today was only the 12th full practice under Brohm. We have a very long way to go until the season opener against Louisville.