football

Cermin with 1s at left tackle; Day 5 camp notebook

Onedayafterbeingmovedbackouttotacklefrominside,CameronCerminwaslinedupexclusivelywithPurdue'sfirst-teamoffenseontheleftsideFriday.
TheBoilermakersusedseniorJackDeBoefwiththeNo.1groupthroughmostofthefirstfourpractices,althoughCermingotsomesnapstherelateonDay4.ButbyDay5,itwasthesophomore'sjobfull-time.
Anditcouldbethatwayfortheseasonopener,ifCerminholdsup.
PurduehasbeensearchingforalefttacklesincethespringwhenDeBoefwasgivenachanceandgotmostofthesnapswiththefirstteam.Buthedidn'timpressenough,especiallyinpassprotection,towinthejob.Since,thecoachingstaffhasbeenlookingforsomeonetostepinandstepup-andthoughCoachDarrellHazellhassaidhelikesCerminbetterinside,Cermindoeshaveexperienceontheedge.
"We'llseewhereitgoes,"Hazellsaidofthemove."We'llstillworkJackoutthereatlefttackle,(and)he'sgottoworksomeguardspot.Butwe'vegottobringsomeofthoseyoungguysalongsowehavesomedepthupfrontandfigureoutwhoourbestsevenoreightoffensivelinemenareinthreeweeks.That'sthegoal.
"(We)justthoughtweneededsomeadditionalpass(protection).ButJackisdoingadecentjobintherungame.He'sgottogetbetterinthepassgame.Weallhavetogetbetter,that'sthekey."
DavidHedelin,whoissuspendedthefirstthreegames,gotmostofthesnapswiththeNo.2offense.FreshmanBearoozYacoobiwaswiththe3s.
StilllookingRaheemMostertandAkeemHunthaveestablishedthemselvesasPurdue'stoptworunningbacks,butnoonehasemergedtosnatchtheNo.3and4spotsthroughcamp'sfirstfivedays,Hazellsaid.
SeniorBrandonCottom,redshirtfreshmenDavidYanceyandKeithByarsandfreshmanD.J.Knoxarevyingforplayingtime.
"That'sabigquestionforusrightnow,"Hazellsaid."Wehavetodeterminewhothatthirdandfourthguyis.ThisisaBigTenleaguethat'sveryphysical,andyouhavetohavefourguys.SowehavetofindoutwhoisNo.3andNo.4guy,andwedon'tknowyet."
Hazellandhisstaffwillkeepacloseeyeonwhocanhelpinpassprotection,whichissometimesatoughadjustmentforyoungbacks.Butit'ssomethingtheteamtriestoworkondaily,Hazellsaid.Ithasn'thappenedtoomuchinpracticeinone-on-oneworkyet,though.
"That'sthekeythingforyoungguysandyoungbacksisyou'vegottobeabletostepupandstonethoseguysandprotectforthequarterbacks,"Hazellsaid."Wehavesomegoodquarterbacks,andobviouslygoodskillpeople,butwe'vegottobeabletoprotectforthem."
ReadytomakeplaysHuntisn'tjealousofMostert'ssurgetothetopofthedepthchart,sayinghisgoodfriendwonthetopspot.
AndHuntalsoknowstherestillwillbeplentyoftouchesforhiminPurdue'soffensein2014.
HegavecoachesareminderofwhathebringstothegroupinFriday'spracticewhenhetookascreenpassfromAustinApplebyandracedabout60yardsforatouchdown.Hunthadacoupleblockersinfrontofhim,includingtightendGabeHolmesandcenterKirkBarron,usedaniftymovetojukecornerbackLeroyClarknearthe30-yardlineandthenablockfromthebacksidereceivertosecurethetouchdown.
It'sthetypeofplayHunthasshowninburstsoverhisfirstthreeseasonsbutlesswhenhecarriedthestartingrunningbackloadlastyear.PerhapswithMostertonthefieldwithhim,he'llthriveagain.
"Ihaveanewrole,togetinspaceandjustmakeplayswhereopportunitycomes.Whentheygetmetheball,Ijusthavetomakethebestoutofitandstrikewhentheoffenseneedsme,"Huntsaid.
Mostofthosebigplayscouldcomefromtheslot,ofwhichHuntsaidhe'splayingmorethiscampthanactualtailback.
Butit'sawayforhimstilltogettheballinhishandsquickly,relyonteammatestoopensomeholesdownfieldandthenforhimtoshowcasehistalents.
"IshowedthatIcouldcatchtheballandtheycanrelyonmetobeapass-catcher,"hesaid."Ihadtoprovetothemeveryday,don'ttalkaboutit,juststayconsistentandcatcheveryball.Theyalwayssay,'Catcheveryball'andthenmyGod-giventalentwilltakeoverfromthere."
InjuryupdateB.J.Knaufcouldreturntofull-goassoonasSaturday,Hazellsaid.
Knaufhasn'tbeenabletopracticeyetthiscampafteraheadinjurysufferedduring7-on-7workintheoffseason.KnaufhadshoulderpadsonFriday,though,andparticipatedinmostofthenon-contactdrills.Hetriedtoslipintoablockingdrillwiththereceiversatonepointinpractice,butCoachKevinShermancaughthimjustbeforethesnapandmadeKnaufstepout.
"Hefeelsgood.Hesayshefeelscloseto100percent,"Hazellsaid."Becauseoftherules,wehadtokeephiminshoulderpads,couldn'tputfullpadsonhim.Heshouldbeabletogo(Saturday),ifnot,definitelyMonday."
Anotherreceiver,DanMonteroso,ismakingsomeprogress,too,Hazellsaid.Monteroso,whobruisedhisleftkneeearlyonDay2,couldreturntothepracticefieldbytheendofnextweek,Hazellsaid.
NosetackleRa'ZahnHowardwasatpracticewithoutawraponhisleftkneeFriday,buthe'sstillatleastseveraldaysfromreturning.HazellsaidthetrainingstaffwouldliketogetHowardwalkinginthewhirlpoolSaturday.
"Hiskneefeelsbetter,hesaid.Hishipisstillsore,"Hazellsaid."Hehadasmileonhisface,walkingalittlebitbetter(Friday)thanhewas(Thursdaynight)."
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SaturdaymarksPurdue'sfirsttwo-a-dayofcampwithpracticesat9:30a.m.and3:30p.m.Bothareopentothepublic.Oneofthosepracticeswillbeinfullpads.
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