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Purdue Football: Lorenzo Neal is Back!

After a long and arduous rehab, the big man in the middle of the Boilermaker defense made his long awaited return in a recent scrimmage.

Northwestern v Purdue Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The key piece for Purdue’s defensive line is back up and running after missing last season and most of spring and fall camp this year rehabbing a torn A.C.L. he suffered against Indiana in the last game of the 2018 season.

At 6’3, 325, Neal is the perfect nose tackle for Bob Diaco’s ever changing defensive front. He give Purdue a potential first round NFL talent at defensive tackle if his knee and conditioning are right.

I’d be interested to see how much he participated in the 100 play scrimmage. I suspect that he’ll be reincorporated into the defensive tackle rotation slowly after more than a year away from playing. I expect to see him splitting time with Lawrence Johnson early, and possibly throughout the season, to keep Lorenzo fresh and keep the miles off his balky knee.

Once he’s back to full speed, Purdue’s defensive front, on paper, should be one of the better fronts in the Big10 (although depth could be an issue). A dominant defensive line could make Bob Diaco’s first year in West Lafayette a resounding success and should lead to an overall improvement in recruiting.

This was the announcement I’ve been waiting for, and this coupled with the D.J. Johnson news should have Purdue fans excited today.