Most of the days from here on out will feature two players, as every remaining numbers except 12 is shared by an offensive and defensive player. Some of them will still be one post, however, because a few (like today) are new walk-ons that I don’t have a ton of info on.
Let’s start today on the defense.
Antonio Blackmon – Jr.
Fort Wayne, IN (Bishop Dwenger HS)
6’, 195 pounds
2017 Projection: Contributor at cornerback
Purdue’s defensive backfield has benefitted greatly of late from walk-ons that played at Bishop Dwenger in Fort Wayne. Landon Feichter was a multi-year starter at safety as a walk-on from Dwenger. Now we have Blackmon, who has had at least three spring game interceptions of late and turned that into playing time last season.
Last season Blackmon played quite a bit as a nickel corner and it resulted in nine tackles over 11 games. His big highlight was a 34 yard interception return just before halftime at Minnesota that set up a short touchdown to give Purdue a halftime lead.
Blackmon will be a quality reserve this season and might even start. He has proven his worth to the team and, quite honestly, should be on scholarship.
Danny Carollo – Fr. (RS)
Lake Forest, IL (Lake Forest HS)
6’, 205 pounds
2017 Projection: Deep reserve at quarterback
It seems very unlikely that Carollo will play in 2017. Purdue has three scholarship quarterbacks that have already used their redshirt year, two incoming freshman scholarship QBs, and a junior walk-on that actually has some very limited game experience. That probably has Carollo as the 7th string QB (or 5th, depending on when Nick Sipe and Griffin Alstott become too valuable to burn their respective redshirts).
Carrollo decided to walk-on at Purdue after receiving an offer from perennial FCS playoff team Northern Iowa. As a junior he led his team to a pair of upset wins in the state tournament with 632 yards and 6 TDs. He has some promise for a walk-on that was possibly overlooked by other schools, but he still has a long way to go to see the field.