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August 22, 2012
Cottom is returning from an ACL injury midseason, which has kept him out of most contact drills during training camp.
The sophomore, however, is expected to be available for Game 1, at least for a limited number of reps. That'll let Jackson and Freytag get opportunities as well.
"The most gifted big back that we have is Brandon Cottom," Hope said. "We've got a green jersey on him, he's recovering from an injury, but he's looked really good. He's been dodging and darting, and quick and sudden. We haven't had any live contact on Cottom, but he looks good carrying it.
"We look forward to him getting his feet back under him. It looks like it's going to happen."
Although Hope didn't directly say that Devin Smith would be the starter at right guard, he indicated that was the lean as of Wednesday.
Smith, a JUCO transfer, and Cody Davis have been rotating at that spot nearly all of camp. But Smith was with the 1s Wednesday.
"He's getting a lot of reps with the 1s and some with the 2s," Hope said. "But we're trying to force-feed from a training standpoint."
Part of the reasoning is that Davis is more versatile, having been in the program longer, and can backup at left guard and center.
"With Peters Drey coming off an injury, we want to make sure he doesn't get too much," Hope said. "We have Cody working in there at left guard to rest Peters some during practice and we anticipate doing the same during games."
Because he was suspended for the spring, Dwayne Beckford has had to quicken his learning curve in Purdue's new defense.
After only two-and-a-half weeks of practice, it's so far, so good for the senior middle linebacker.
"I'm not surprised," Hope said. "Dwayne has a very good football IQ. We're very consistent with what we're teaching. We've said all along that the new package presents a ton of options for the play-caller and a lot of carry-over for the players. It's simple assignment-wise, and that's evident on the practice field."
Bade, Bolden, wide receivers Tommie Thomas (foot surgery), Ishmael Aristide (knee sprain), B.J. Knauf (back) and tight end Carlos Carvajal (groin) are out for Purdue's game vs. Eastern Kentucky, Hope said.
Also, reserve OT Patrick Bade hyperextended a knee during Tuesday's practice and is out 5-6 weeks.
A couple others - QB Rob Henry (knee), Cottom and defensive tackle Ryan Isaac (knee) - will play, but will be limited.
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