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32 Days to Purdue Football: Elijah Ball

The linebacker from Indianapolis is moving into a larger role.

NCAA FOOTBALL: SEP 06 Central Michigan at Purdue Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images

Purdue has some openings in the defensive backfield heading into his year, and today’s player may be ready to fill one.

Elijah Ball - So.

Indianapolis, IN (Ben Davis HS)

6’1”, 210 pounds


2020 Projection: Contributor at linebacker

I was surprised to see Ball listed as a linebacker on the official roster, as he has played mostly defensive back so far. As a true freshman in 2018 he appeared in a pair of games and had a tackle against Illinois. He maintained his redshirt and saw further action in eight games last season. He did not accumulate any statistics, however.

Ball has mostly played kind of a nickel role, which will help him transition to linebacker. In high school he was part of an excellent Ben Davis team that went 14-0 and won Indiana’s class 6A state championship. That team finished 11th nationally according to MaxPreps and 7th in another poll. It was such a good team that their closest game, playing against the state’s absolute best all season, was a 36-29 win over Warren Central in the sectional. All other wins were by double digits and Ball was part of a defense that held opponents to 20 points or less in 12 of the 14 games.