Dillon Thieneman's Boilermaker career has been years in the making. Back before he burst onto the scene as one of Indiana's top players at Westfield High School, before emerging as a Purdue target, he was already a Boilermaker at heart.

A large part of that was watching his two older brothers, Jacob, and Brennan Thieneman, suit up for Purdue when he was a kid. He'd already gotten used to spending his Saturdays in the fall in West Lafayette. So when it came time to choosing where to play on Saturdays in the fall, Purdue was a no-brainer.

"Growing up, I always came to Purdue games watching my brothers play out there. It just made me want to get out there and do it myself. So I mean, I had a pretty good connection with Purdue, so coming here just feels like a dream come true," Thieneman said.

The youngest of the three Thieneman brothers is embarking on his first season at Purdue, but it's closing in on a decade of Thieneman's on the sidelines at Purdue. He's leaning on his brother's experiences before him as he adjusts to life in the Big Ten.

"I'll be texting them. I send them some film clips so they can help me with some technique, and I'm just talking to them, what they went through, what they experienced working their way up. So it just helped me to gain perspective and just keep working," Thieneman said.

While Thieneman carries on the family legacy in the old gold and black, he has some bragging rights over his older brothers. Jacob and Brennan began their careers as preferred walk-ons before earning their stripes and becoming key parts of the Purdue defense during the Jeff Brohm era. Jake was eventually named a team captain during his senior campaign in 2018.

The 2023 three-star recruit already has his scholarship secured and is in a prime position to have a significant role for Kevin Kane's group this fall in just his first year on campus.

"I do hold it over them a little bit, but they played out there; they've showed what they can do. So this is my time to do it," Thieneman said.

Senior safety and newly appointed team captain Sanoussi Kane played his freshman year with Brennan and sees similarities in the brothers' willingness to put in the work. Since Thieneman got to campus in January, he's been among the hardest workers on the defensive side of the ball.

"Dillon, don't need to talk. All he's gonna do is work. He got that from his brothers. So it's just been fun. Like, just I love it every day because I know if I don't work, Dillon's gonna work," Kane said.