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8 Days to Purdue Football: Markell Jones and Josh Okonye

Today we feature a pair of starters.

NCAA Football: Iowa at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Today we have a couple of starters as our featured players, including one of the best players on the team.

Markell Jones – Jr.

Columbus, IN (Columbus East HS)

5’11”, 200 pounds

Running Back

2017 Projection: Starting Running Back

Before all is said and done Markell Jones could leave Purdue as its best running back ever. He burst onto the scene two seasons ago with 875 yards and 10 touchdowns as a true freshman. We thought multiple 1,000 yard seasons were coming, but after injuring his shoulder against Cincinnati last season he struggled the rest of the year. He was never 100% and finished with 616 yards and 4 TDs.

As he enters his third season he now finds himself in a crowded backfield, but most people agree that he is Purdue’s most complete running back. The potential is there too. He can get the short yards needed to move the chains and he also has a good burst to break a big play. Just look at this play:

We need that freshman year Markell back this year. In the new offense he is more than capable of being a 1,000 yard, 10 TD type of back.

Josh Okonye – Grad Student

Sugar Land, TX (George Ranch HS)

6’, 200 pounds


2017 Projection: Starter at cornerback

Okonye is a newcomer to the program, as he is one of six graduate transfers brought in by coach Brohm. He has a year of eligibility left and has come to play at cornerback, where Purdue definitely needs some help. At Wake Forest he played in 37 career games with multiple starts both as a corner and as a nickel back.

Okonye is an interesting prospect because he is a big, strong corner of the type Brohm has been looking for. He is very likely to play a lot this year, and he might even be the starting corner opposite Da’Wan Hunte. In three years at Wake Forest he had 65 total tackles and a fumble recovery. His experience will be a huge addition to Purdue’s secondary.