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21 Days to Purdue Football: Markus Bailey and Jordan Bonner

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One of the best linebackers in America is featured today with a redshirt freshman.

Ohio State v Purdue

With kickoff coming three weeks from today we have a double player day today.

Markus Bailey - Sr.

Columbus, OH (Hilliard Davidson HS)

6’1”, 240 pounds

Linebacker

2019 Projection: Starter at Linebacker

By the time all is said and done Markus Bailey will leave Purdue as one of the most decorated linebackers in school history. He had a very promising start in 2015, making 12 tackles in three games before tearing his ACL. That injury came just before the threshold that would have cost him his redshirt year, so he returned in 2016 with four years of eligibility. He has made the most of it, starting in all 38 games since.

Because of that he could establish a Purdue record for most games played by the end of the season. Assuming Purdue makes a bowl game he could play in as many as 54 games, and I am not sure any other Purdue player has played in that many.

Bailey’s longevity already has him climbing the career lists at Purdue. He had 313 career tackles, good for 18th on the all-time list. With another 100 tackle season (he had 115 last season) he would pass Brock Spack for fifth on the career list. His 219 solo tackles is currently tied for 13th, and he has an outside shot at the school record of 321. His 12.5 career sacks have him tied for 16th on Purdue’s all-time list. With six career interceptions (including last year’s exclamation point Pick-six against Ohio State) he is close to the top 20 in that department.

Bailey is a talented, versatile linebacker that plays all over the field. He can defend the pass, rush the quarterback, or stuff the run. He is everything you could ask for in a linebacker, and his final season in West Lafayette is poised to be a great one.

Jordan Bonner - Fr. (RS)

Carrollton, GA (Carrollton HS)

6’2”, 200 pounds

Wide Receiver

2019 Projection: Reserve at Wide Receiver

Perhaps the hardest position to earn playing time at Purdue over the next few years is at wide receiver. We are currently loaded here with Rondale Moore coming back, Jared Sparks and Danny Anthrop playing the role of established veterans, and an embarrassment of riches as incoming freshmen.

That is what Bonner is battling, in addition to a few other receivers coming off of a redshirt year. In his final year of high school he finished with 26 receptions for 333 yards and 3 touchdowns for a team that had a strong running game. His team finished 10-3 and won a pair of games to reach the quarterfinals of the Georgia State Playoffs.