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February 8, 2013

Hazell on Gold and Black LIVE: Quick hits

Purdue first-year football coach Darrell Hazell was on Gold and Black LIVE on Friday afternoon.

He talked recruiting, spring ball, offensive philosophy and much more. A video replay will be available later, but here are some highlights:

Spring practice will start on March 19, a Tuesday. The approach to start will be slow, Hazell said, with likely only three practices per week before installing the new systems.

"We'll try to front-end load, so they get all the terminology and then we'll go back to continually review all the things we're not doing as well as we could be," he said. "But we want to set the tempo of speed and efficiency on the practice field and execution."

The spring game is April 13. Hazell said he'd like the format to be like a game, including exchanging kicks.

Wide receiver O.J. Ross has been suspended indefinitely, but when asked whether Ross would be ready for spring ball, Hazell wouldn't expound on the initial release.

Hazell said he was meeting with an assistant coach candidate tonight. He has spots to fill at defensive line and tight end/special teams.

"I have to these two guys hired in the next couple weeks because we started talking about football a little bit the last couple days," he said. "They're putting together the notebooks, offense, defense and special teams. So we'll need to hire those other two guys."

A high priority, too, though is getting around current players more.

"I just don't feel like we've been around those guys enough and get a chance to know those guys and what they're all about," he said.

One tradition Hazell will revive at Purdue: Helmet stickers.

Players at Kent State were rewarded with stickers based on their production - they were little Golden Flashes logos in yellow on navy helmets. Purdue players had hammer stickers under Leon Burnett and Jim Young from 1977-80.

Hazell wouldn't say what the new helmet stickers would look like.

The team's 6 a.m. workouts begin on Feb. 18 and continue for three weeks.

"We'll put them through the paces and find out where we need to go from there," Hazell said.

If Hazell wasn't a football coach, what would he be doing?

"I'd be a hostage negotiator," he said.

Hazell was taught to play chess when he was a kid by his sister, and he loves the sport.

"I like the three-or-four-moves-ahead thinking process and philosophy," he said. "It's fun."

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