The second No. 36 is a bit of a hybrid player that could have a big final season.
Danny Ezechukwu – Sr.
Lithonia, GA (Arabia Mountain HS)
6’2”, 242 pounds
2017 Projection: Contributor at linebacker
Ezechukwu has been a starter for much of his career, but with T.J. McCollum transferring in and the development of Markus Bailey he is going to play a hybrid role this year. There may be times where he is a rush end and other times where he is a more conventional linebacker. His strength is playing downhill against the run, which is why last year was so frustrating. Purdue struggled against the run and needed Ezechukwu on the field, but the Els defense either had him playing pass first or not on the field at all.
Last season Ezechukwu had 52 tackles, bringing his career total to 174 in three years. He also has 2.5 sacks, an interception, 2.5 sacks, and this play against Virginia Tech in 2015:
That play would stand as the penalty was on Virginia Tech, and it was a great play in a game that was otherwise dull. Hopefully Ezechukwu can continue to be disruptive in the backfield this year. We need him to be.