The first depth chart of the season is out and it is very, very interesting. In multiple spots coach Brohm goes beyond the traditional two-deep. At a few spots he goes three deep and at running back he is even five deep. Here is a quick look, first at the offense:
QB: 1. David Blough 2. Elijah Sindelar 3. Jared Sparks
RB: 1. Tario Fuller OR Markell Jones OR D.J. Knox OR Richie Worship OR Brian Lankford-Johnson
WR1: 1. Anthony Mahoungou 2. Corey Holmes 3. Jared Sparks
WR2: 1. Jackson Anthrop OR Terry Wright 2. KeyRon Catlett
WR3: 1. Gregory Phillips 2. Isaac Zico
TE: 1. Cole Herdman 2. Brycen Hopkins 3. Darius Pittman
LT: 1. Grant Hermanns 2. Eric Swingler
LG: 1. Shane Evans 2. Michael Mendez 3. Peyton Truitt
C: 1. Kirk Barron 2. Shane Evans 3. Bryce Brown
RG: 1. Matt McCann 2. Bearooz Yacoobi
RT: 1. Dave Steinmetz 2. Ethan Smart
There are not a ton of surprises here. The true freshmen are Catlett and Pittman, who have impressed to the point that they will play. Sparks, as expected, will play some at receiver. Coach Brohm has said that multiple QBs will play. Whether that means just Sparks in his special package or Sindelar because Blough is still banged up remains to be seen. I admit, I am concerned about Blough’s shoulder injury. We’re five days from kickoff and he has not been 100% at all.
Along the offensive line Steinmetz and Evans draw immediate starts as grad transfers. Hermanns gets the nod as a redshirt freshman at left tackle. At receiver Brohm has stated we will rotate guys, so I would bet all seven named guys will play. As far as the five running backs, I think there will be a mix, at least to start.
DE: 1. Austin Larkin 2. Antoine Miles
DT: 1. Lorenzo Neal OR Eddy Wilson
DT: 1. Gelen Robinson 2. Keiwan Jones
DE: 1. Danny Ezechukwu 2. Kai Higgins
WLB: 1. T.J. McCollum 2. Andy Chelf OR Sawyer Dawson
MLB: 1. Ja’Whaun Bentley 2. Garrett Hudson
SLB: 1. Markus Bailey 2. Rob Simmons
CB1: 1. Josh Okonye 2. Antonio Blackmon
CB2: 1. Da’Wan Hunte 2. Kamal Hardy
FS: 1. T.J. Jallow 2. Simeon Smiley
SS: 1. Jacob Thieneman 2. Navon Mosley
The defense has a lot of interesting notes. First, Ezechukwu officially at the Leo Hybrid DE/LB position is confirmed. it is a way to get Purdue’s best players on the field at the same time, something previous regimes went out of their way to do. Brohm also stated that tackles will rotate and “it doesn’t matter who starts”.
At linebacker I found it very interesting to see Chelf and Dawson there. They need to at least get some playing time before next season. Simmons also had a good spring coming off the edge.
As expected, two walk-ons are in the defensive backfield with Theineman starting and Blackmon at corner. Blackmon is likely the nickel 3rd corner as of right now.
Punter: 1. Joe Schopper 2. Jake Herr
Placekicker: 1. J.D. Dellinger OR Spencer Evans
Kickoffs: 1. Spencer Evans 2. Myles Evans
Long Snapper: 1. Ben Makowski 2. Ryan Sadkowski
Holder: 1. David Blough 2. Elijah Sindelar
KR: 1. Markell Jones 2. D.J. Knox
PR: 1. Jackson Anthrop 2. Isaac Zico
The only OR here is at placekicker, and I am betting it means Dellinger is on shorter kicks and Evans is on longer attempts. I would imagine that Dellinger stays on PATs. I was surprised that Markell Jones is a returner, as he has never really been there before. Other than that, this is as expected.