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Purdue Football Player Countdown: #37 Caleb Lahey

The walk on running back from Illinois has some Jackson Anthrop vibes.

NCAA Football: Maryland at Purdue Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue found a bit of a hidden gem in Zander Horvath when it comes to walk-ons at running back. Alfred Armour also found his way tot he field recently at the same position. That opens the door for a guy like today’s player.

Caleb Lahey - Fr.

Bismarck, IL (Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Allen HS)

5’10”, 210 pounds

Running Back

2020 Projection: Likely Redshirt

Lahey enters the season almost certainly headed for a redshirt because of who is in front of him, but he comes to Purdue as a preferred walk-on after a productive Illinois high school career. He played at a really small school in Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin High School in Bismarck, Ill., a Class 2A school with an enrollment of 380. That makes him the small town hero headed to the Big Ten:

The 5-foot-10, 205 pound running back set the BHRA program record for rushing with more than 5,500 yards. It could have been a lot more had Lahey not tore his ACL as a sophomore, ending his season prematurely.

Small school star that got his requisite ACL tear out of the way early? BAH GAWD! THAT’S THE ANTHROPS’ MUSIC!!!!

He also had some other interest as a walk-on from big programs:

Lahey had been looking at schools since his junior year and narrowed down to Purdue, Tennessee, Western Illinois, Vanderbilt, Aurora, Valparaiso and Illinois State before choosing the Boilermakers.

“It was just the atmosphere when I went there for a camp was great,” Lahey said. “I saw a game there and I was able to talk to the players and the coaches and they were so welcoming.”

Welcome aboard, Caleb.