We’re almost to single digits, and today we have a couple of projected starters that are hoping for big seasons.
David Blough – Jr.
Carrollton, TX (Creekview HS)
6’1”, 205 pounds
2017 Projection: Starter at Quarterback
Is David Blough the next player in The Cradle? After years of uncertainty at the quarterback position Blough is in line to be the first player to start consecutive season openers at quarterbacks since Curtis Painter from 2006-08. Robert Marve did start two season openers in there, but they were not consecutive.
With two years remaining Blough already is all over the Purdue record book. He has had 6 300-yard passing games (Kyle Orton only had 7). He is 10th in school history in total offense, and with a pedestrian season he can move as high as 5th in that category. His 35 career touchdowns have him 8th in school history, with the potential to easily move to 4th by the end of the season. His 4,926 yards passing is also 10th in school history, and with another 3,000 season he can move to 5th and be in line for the all-time record of 11,792.
Bear in mind, these numbers came under a pretty weak offense, especially since he had John Shoop to start his career. Now with his third offensive coordinator, and a head coach known for developing quarterbacks, Blough could explode over the next two seasons. He has been slowed by a shoulder strain that has caused him to miss the last few practices, but as long as he returns 100% it could be a big year for him.
Antoine Miles – Sr. (5)
Canton, OH (McKinely HS)
6’2”, 250 pounds
2017 Projection: Starter at Defensive End
Among the boneheaded decision by the previous regime (and there were many) the benching of Antoine Miles has to be up there. Purdue needed more of a pass rush last season. It was non-negotiable. Miles had played in all 12 games as a sophomore in 2015, started 6 of them, and led the team in sacks with four. He also had 28 tackles, a modest amount for a defensive end.
Instead of using a player to build on a decent sophomore year (which was his debut) Darrell Hazell & co. benched him. He didn’t play a single snap in 2016 for reasons unknown. He spent it with the scout team.
Fortunately for him, the new coaching staff has realized that a decent player can be used on a defense to help the team get better. Miles is expected to start at one of the defensive end spots, and hopefully he plays like a rage monster after the previous staff robbed him of a year of playing time. I know I would play pissed off.