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August 16, 2012
With only three days remaining in camp, Purdue still doesn't have a clear-cut No. 2.
Senior Nnamdi Ezenwa and redshirt freshman Armstead Williams have been making progress, Hope said.
"I don't know that one of them is significantly further ahead than the other," Hope said. "I think they've both done some really good things. There's competition there. Those two guys together can certainly fill that one void. If we had to roll those guys in there at that spot some, I would be comfortable with that right now.
"Maybe over a period of time, someone will separate themselves out of the two."
Ezenwa missed spring ball with a hand injury, but Hope likes Ezenwa's speed and athleticism at the position.
"He should be able to get it done and looks like he's going to be able to get it done," Hope said.
Light chatted with Hope afterward and posed for a couple pictures with members of the Ross-Ade Brigade, who were allowed to watch practice.
"It's truly a big deal any time Matt comes around," Hope said. "He brings energy every time he comes to practice or any time he comes into a room, he lights it up in a lot of ways. So for him to be back here and talk to our team (Thursday), it was a big deal for our football team.
"For him to speak to our team (Friday) at the banquet, I think it's huge for our team. He'll deliver a great message, one that has a lot of meaning. Any time he speaks, he always speaks from the heart. So I know he'll say something that will find a way to impact our team's season somehow."
Normondo Harris has been out most of camp with a sprained knee, and he was wearing a brace on Thursday. Hope said Harris is deciding whether to wear the brace in practice.
"We need him out here," Hope said.
Hope mentioned Danny Anthrop has looked good in camp the last couple of days. Anthrop has been working at slot receiver - the same position as Edison and Mostert - and could get some carries from that position, too.
Four NFL scouts were talking to defensive backs coach Greg Burns while the team stretched.
With thunderstorms throughout the day, Purdue moved both of its practices inside. Hope isn't opposed to practicing in the rain, though, because it allows the team to work on handling a wet football. When it's not raining, Hope said the team will sometimes bring in a bucket of water to soak the balls to still get work.
Of the 10 players who lined up with the No. 1 punt protection unit early in practice, six were defensive backs. Ricardo Allen, E.J. Johnson, Taylor Richards, Landon Feichter, Max Charlot and Antoine Lewis were joined by snapper Jesse Schmitt and the three players who formed the shield, Antwon Higgs, Cody Davis and Eric Mebane.
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