The season begins three weeks from today, and for Purdue to have success in 2017, today’s player will have to live up to expectations as the best player on the defense.
Markus Bailey – So.
Columbus, OH (Hilliard Davidson HS)
6’1”, 235 pounds
2017 Projection: Starter at Linebacker
Purdue does not have many all-Big Ten caliber players, but Bailey is one of them. He came to Purdue in 2015 and played in three games as a true freshman before tearing his ACL. He finished with 12 tackles and was still able to save his redshirt due to how early the injury happened.
It also allowed him to come back strong as a redshirt freshman in 2016, where he had a monster season. He led Purdue in tackles with 97 and in interceptions with 4. He was Purdue’s best pass defender playing on the outside, but he could still get into the backfield with six tackles for loss.
So this year is a big one for him. A spot on the all-Big Ten team is not outside the realm of possibility.