Today’s player was a bit if a surprise last season as a true freshman. He had a big game at Illinois and is looking for more in 2017.
Brian Lankford-Johnson – So.
St. Paul, MN (Palm Bay HS in Florida)
6’, 195 pounds
2017 Projection: Contributor at Running Back/Kick Returner
There is one place where Purdue has a wealth of talent and it is at running back. There are up to five guys that can contribute this season, and Lankford-Johnson might be the fastest of them. During his senior year of high school he rushed for 1,814 yards and 22 touchdowns. That was impressive enough to get him to the field immediately last year.
Lankford-Johnson played in all 12 games as a freshman, rushing for 314 yards and 2 touchdowns, which was second-most on the team. He also caught 11 passes for 90 yards and returned 24 kickoffs for another 516 yards. His 920 all-purpose yards was second on the team only to 952 from DeAngelo Yancey. He was third on the team in total offense behind David Blough and Markell Jones.
Right now Lankford-Johnson should at least stay as a kickoff returner, where his speed makes him dangerous. His best game came at Illinois, where he rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. that got him Big Ten Freshman of the week honors that week. Expect him to at least get some carries as a change-of-pace back in a crowded backfield.