NCAA rules state that players can wear the same jersey number as long as they do not play on the field at the same time. That’s why we have several players wearing the same number as long as one is on defense and one is on offense. Today we have the rare THREE players wearing the same number, thanks to one being on special teams.
Gelen Robinson – Sr.
Schererville, IN (Lake Central HS)
6’1”, 280 pounds
2017 Projection: Starter at Defensive Tackle
The son of the Big Dog came the closest to winning a national award last season. Gelen was a nominee and finished 7th in the final voting for the prestigious Piesman Trophy, given away for, basically, fat man touchdowns. His 78 yard interception return for a touchdown was one of the highlights of the season:
Gelen has had an up and down career since coming to Purdue. He has participated on both the wrestling team and as a shotput thrower after he won two wrestling state championships and was state runner-up in the shot put back at Lake Central. He has had 8.5 sacks and 113 tackles in three years of mostly starting, but he has had some off the field issues as well.
Gelen is a guy that can be physically dominant this year, and it is hoped a shift inside to defensive tackle will help. He has never been a speed rusher, but his enormous strength is an asset that may play better inside. Purdue needs him to finally fulfill his enormous potential because he could be a huge difference maker on the defense.
Spencer Evans – Jr.
Arlington, TX (Baylor University)
6’1”, 200 pounds
2017 Projection: Possible Starter at Kicker
A late addition to the program, Evans was a graduate transfer that walked on at Baylor and was known for having a big leg as a kicker. Purdue offered him a scholarship and he signed just a few weeks ago hoping to battle J.D. Dellinger for playing time.
Evans has a huge leg. There is video of him kicking a 75-yard field goal, so somewhere Danny Hope is beyond excited. At the very least, Evans will probably be a kickoff specialist, but with a stronger leg than Dellinger he may be used on long field goal attempts. He did not attempt a field goal during his two years playing at Baylor. He also has two years left here at Purdue.
Aiden O’Connell – Fr.
Lincolnshire, IL (Stevenson HS)
6’3”, 190 pounds
2017 Projection: Likely Redshirt
The final No. 13 is also a newcomer as a walk-on quarterback from Illinois. O’Connell was a Class 8A All-State selection in Illinois after throwing for 2,741 yards and 26 touchdowns (both school records). He was also an accomplished basketball player that received college interest there, but he decided to pursue football instead.
It seems very unlikely O’Connell will play this season, but he is an intriguing option for the future given that he is a tall pocket passer that Jeff Brohm seems to prefer.