While Aidan O’Connell is the more famous former walk-on turned starter at Purdue, the defense has one as well.
Kieren Douglas - Sr. (6)
Pickerington, OH (Pickerington Central HS)
6’2”, 240 pounds
2022 Projection: Starter
Douglas took the long way to his starter’s role. He started his career at Army in 2017 and played in one game for the Black Knights. After transferring and sitting out the 2018 season as a redshirt he became a key special teamer in 2019. He saw action there in eight games and even got in on two tackles.
It was 2020 where he made his first big impact. He became a key reserve and played in all six games, even starting once. He finished with 13 tackles, but eight came in the final two games of the season. His first start was against Nebraska in the finale.
Last season he moved into the starter’s role full time and had a breakout year. He finished with 67 tackles, three for loss, and even an interception. It was his first quarter interception at Iowa that stopped their promising opening drive and turned the tables early.
Douglas is not the fastest linebacker, but he is s steady contributor that beings a lot of experience coming into this year. He elected to take his free sixth year due to COVID, so that will help a lot.