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August 18, 2012

Young WRs get more reps; Day 15 report

Listen: Coach Danny Hope after practice

Already Gary Bush and B.J. Knauf have been banged up and missed large chunks of camp. Purdue added another receiver to the injured list when senior receiver Tommie Thomas suffered a foot injury on Thursday.

Coach Danny Hope wasn't sure if Thomas would need surgery, but even if he doesn't have it, Hope expects Thomas to be out several weeks.

Dolapo Macarthy also was in a green jersey (no contact) on Saturday.

"(Saturday) and (Sunday) are really important for us to get a lot of reps to the young receivers on our football team to get a feel for guys like Danny Anthrop, Cameron Posey, B.J. Knauf. B.J. didn't get a whole lot (Saturday)," Hope said. "I really like what I'm seeing from Posey. He's very sure-handed, can count on him to make the play, he's smart, has a real knack for getting open. Danny has done fantastic. He really catches the ball well. He's fearless and hard-working.

"I anticipate those guys having the potential to play early and often throughout the course of the season if they continue to improve."

At least Hope knows he'll have his top three receivers able to play in 2012.

With classes starting Monday, all the grades are in and Hope said Purdue won't lose a single player from academics this fall.

"I'm so proud of them," Hope said. "We had several guys who were really behind. O.J. (Ross) was really behind. He's worked very hard and he's done it. … O.J. really wanted to make it, and he's made it. Antavian (Edison) made it. Bush made it. We had two or three guys we were concerned about, so we didn't lose a single guy academically for the season, which is good.

"That was one of the key ingredients for us to have a chance to do well this year was to make our grades academically."

'A great day'
In the last full pad practice of camp, Hope was pleased with his team's effort.

The Boilermakers did some scrimmaging on Saturday, getting work with its top units against the No. 2 groups on the opposing sides.

"We had a great day," Hope said. "We had a lot of energy on the field. We practiced hard. It was physical across the line of scrimmage. You could hear the crunching. It was crisp and it was a good sound. ... We have 13 practices left before our opening game and we want to do it right 13 times, not practice 13 times to get it right.

"I like where we're at. We're not where we need to be yet, but I like where we're at. We're getting a lot better. Every time we come out to practice the team seems real driven, so I'm very encouraged by it."

The offense had only one pre-snap penalty on Saturday, and Hope said the group has minimized its errors "significantly" over the last two practices.

The top defense worked on its tackling against the No. 2 offense, and it also was able to get physical in a drill that had the offense backed up three yards deep in the end zone and trying to work its way out.

"We (were) running around fast and seemed sure," Hope said of his defense.

Noteworthy
Justin Kitchens got work with the first-team offense at left tackle in the open portion of practice. Cody Davis was at right guard.
Crosby Wright was only walk-on awarded a scholarship, and that happened this summer. It's possible a couple more opportunities open up, though, depending on health of Jordan Shine and Mike Lee. Lee missed most of last spring with concussion symptoms and hasn't been on the field this camp.
Aloyis Gray's time in "Gang Green" could be coming to a close. Gray was recruited as a receiver and committed to Purdue as a junior but then wanted to get a shot at QB in college. The Boilermakers gave that to him.
"He's done OK," Hope said. "Had a chance to watch him some in skelly and some in the drills and he still has a lot of work to do."
Freshman Jonathan Curry was introduced with the running backs at the team's kickoff luncheon on Friday, and Hope said Saturday that Curry has been moved from tight end to fullback. Hope said Curry has been physical and reliable in camp.
"We really need a fullback in our offense right now and we like the way he hit in high school," Hope said. "I like what I see there. I think he has a future there."




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