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87 Days to Purdue Football: Payne Durham

The redshirt freshman has a chance to fill role this year.

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Purdue Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

With the graduation of Cole Herdman, Purdue has an opening at tight end. Today’s player could fill hat role.

Payne Durham - Fr. (RS)

Suwanee, GA (Peachtree Ridge HS)

6’5”, 255 pounds

Tight End

2019 Projection: Possible Contributor at Tight End

Herdman was a regular contributor for four years at Purdue, but with him gone someone will need to be the top reserve behind Brycen Hopkins. Enter Durham, who actually appeared two games last season, but was able to hold on to his redshirt.

Durham has a lot of potential. he only played one year of high school football after playing lacrosse and he caught 22 passes for 330 yards and five touchdowns:

“In high school, I just went out there and played and did what they told me to do and succeeded,” Durham said. “In college, there’s a lot more things you need to know. The speed of the game is different, the offense is so complex.”

Right now, Durham’s strength is blocking but he’s making plays in the passing game. Hopkins is clearly the team’s No. 1 tight end, but the development of Durham and junior Darius Pittman will determine how much coach Jeff Brohm utilizes formations with two tight ends.

There is not a ton of pressure on Durham because of Pittman and Hopkins, but he has a real chance to contribute this fall even if it only as a blocker.