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July 12, 2004

Boilers By Numbers: No. 54

No. 54 Boilermakers



Leading into the Sept. 5 season opener against Syracuse, GoldAndBlack.com will count down the days 'til the 2004 lidlifter by highlighting the former Boilermakers who wore the jersey corresponding to the days remaining until kickoff.

Below is a list of all Boilermakers who donned the No. 54 jersey*:

Horace Buttner (also 88) 1928-30, T-G

Richard Chubb (also 80) 1931, T-C

Mark Drenth 1982-85, OL

Mark Fischer 1994-97, OL

Mark Gorgal 1973-75, MG

Keevan Grimmett 1977-79, DT

Robert Hoidahl 1970-72, C

Chris Kaminski (also 50) 1987-88, C

Nick Mamula 1990-92, C

Alvin Menke 1986, C

George Mihal 1943-46, FB

Jim Nesbitt 1937-38, HB

Chike Okeafor (also 34) 1998, DE

Paul Rudolph 1964, C

Rudy Trbovich (also 71) 1948, T

Rob Turner 1999-2002, OL

Charles Wright 1935, HB

*Source: Purdue Football Information Guide

Gold & Black.com's Top No. 54s:

No. 54 is reserved for a bunch of lunch pail guys.

In the Joe Tiller Era, two of the top trench guys were Mark Fischer and Rob Turner. Fischer played guard for three seasons under Coach Jim Colletto (1994-96), starting for two seasons before moving to tackle for his senior year ('97) with Tiller. He was one of the early emotional leaders that helped change the Boilermakers' mindset into a winning one.

Turner earned three starts at right guard on the 2000 line that was one of the best in school history. The following season he started the first seven games before suffering a broken leg in the Illinois game. In an amazingly fast recovery, Turner played just six weeks later in the 2001 Sun Bowl game. He finished his career as a starter on the 2002 team that made a return trip to El Paso.

On the topic of playing in Texas, defensive Chike Okeafor put on one of the great single-game performances of anyone to wear the jersey in the 1998 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. He and fellow defensive end Rosevelt Colvin terrorized Kansas State quarterback Michael Bishop. For the game, Okeafor had three and a half sacks as he culminated a pretty staunch year at defensive end. As you will recall, Okeafor was suspended for the 1997 season by Coach Joe Tiller, but rejoined the squad in time to change his jersey number from 34 to 54 and put his hand in the dirt.

Nick Mamula was the senior leader at center on the 1992 line for Coach Jim Colletto in his only year as a full-time starter. A native of Hoffman Estates, Ill., he overcame an knee injury his junior year to win the job. A couple decades earlier in 1971, Bob Hoidahl, from nearby Calumet City, Ill., started all 11 games at center for Coach Bob DeMoss.

Another Chicago-area player who overcame significant injuries was middle guard Mark Gorgal. The son of former Boilermaker star, Ken Gorgal (1946-49), the younger Gorgal overcame knee, neck and shoulder injuries, starting as a sophomore in 1973 when he had a career high 74 tackles. He shared the starting role with Roger Ruwe in 1974 and '75.

Kalamazoo product Mark Drenth was a starting offensive guard for three seasons (1983-85) and was a key pass protector for quarterback Jim Everett on the 1984 Peach Bowl team that ranked seventh in the nation in passing offense. With one start as a freshman in '82, he has the dubious distinction of being the first player from Kalamazoo to start as a true freshman in the history of Big Ten play.

Finally, George Mihal shared time at fullback with Ed "Catfoot" Cody on the 1946 team coached by Cecil Isbell.

Our ranking of the best No. 54s:

1. Mark Fischer
2. Chike Okeafor
3. Mark Gorgal
4. Rob Turner
5. Mark Drenth


Read the rationale behind GoldAndBlack.com's rankings and share your favorite memories of any of the No. 54s on the Knucklehead Central Premium Message Board

To view the entire list of Boilers By Numbers, click here




Copyright, Boilers, Inc. 2004. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction or use in whole or in part, without permission, of editorial or graphical content in any manner is strictly prohibited
No. 54 Boilermakers



Leading into the Sept. 5 season opener against Syracuse, GoldAndBlack.com will count down the days 'til the 2004 lidlifter by highlighting the former Boilermakers who wore the jersey corresponding to the days remaining until kickoff.

Below is a list of all Boilermakers who donned the No. 54 jersey*:

Horace Buttner (also 88) 1928-30, T-G
Richard Chubb (also 80) 1931, T-C
Mark Drenth 1982-85, OL
Mark Fischer 1994-97, OL
Mark Gorgal 1973-75, MG
Keevan Grimmett 1977-79, DT
Robert Hoidahl 1970-72, C
Chris Kaminski (also 50) 1987-88, C
Nick Mamula 1990-92, C
Alvin Menke 1986, C
George Mihal 1943-46, FB
Jim Nesbitt 1937-38, HB
Paul Rudolph 1964, C
Rudy Trbovich (also 71) 1948, T
Rob Turner 1999-2002, OL
Charles Wright 1935, HB
*Source: Purdue Football Information Guide

Gold & Black.com's Top No. 54s:

Number 54 is reserved for a bunch of lunch pail guys.

In the Joe Tiller Era, two of the top trench guys were Mark Fischer and Rob Turner. Fischer played guard for three seasons under Coach Jim Colletto (1994-96) starting for two seasons before moving to tackle for his senior year ('97) with Tiller. He was one of the early emotional leaders that helped change the Boilermakers' mindset into a winning one.

Turner earned three starts at right guard.on the 2000 line that was one of the best in school history. The following season he started the first seven games before suffering a broken leg in the Illinois game. In an amazingly fast recovery, Turner played just six weeks later in the 2001 Sun Bowl game. He finished his career as a starter on the 2002 team that made a return trip to El Paso.

Nick Mamula was the senior leader at center on the 1992 line for Coach Jim Colletto in his only year as a full-time starter.. A native of Hoffman Estates, Ill., he overcame an knee injury in his junior year to win the job. A couple decades earlier in 1971, Bob Hoidahl, from nearby Calumet City, Ill., started all 11 games at center for Coach Bob DeMoss.

Another Chicago area player that overcame significant injuries was middle guard Mark Gorgal. The son of former Boilermaker star Ken Gorgal (1946-49), the younger Gorgal overcame knee, neck and shoulder injuries, starting as a sophomore in 1973 when he had a career high 74 tackles. He shared the starting role with Roger Ruwe in 1974 and '75.

Kalamazoo product Mark Drenth was a starting offensive guard for three seasons (1983-85) was a key pass protector for quarterback Jim Everett on the 1984 Peach Bowl team that ranked seventh in the nation in passing offense. With one start as a freshman in '82, he has the dubious distinction of being the first player from Kalamazoo to start as a true freshman in the history of Big Ten play.

Finally, George Mihal shared time at fullback with Ed "Catfoot" Cody on the 1946 team coached by Cecil Isbell.

Our ranking of the best No. 54s:

1. Mark Fischer
2. Mark Gorgal
3. Rob Turner
4. Mark Drenth
5. Bob Hoidahl


Read the rationale behind GoldAndBlack.com's rankings and share your favorite memories of any of the No. 54s on the Knucklehead Central Premium Message Board

To view the entire list of Boilers By Numbers, click here




Copyright, Boilers, Inc. 2004. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction or use in whole or in part, without permission, of editorial or graphical content in any manner is strictly prohibited


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