Spring checkup: The receivers
No position on the Purdue roster drips with as much potential as receiver.
Jeff Brohm and Co., continue to recruit the position at a high level. And this year’s collection of talent at wideout may be the best ever at Purdue. Whoever wins the quarterback job (junior Aidan O’Connell or sophomore Jack Plummer) will have plenty of talent to throw to this season for a unit that's a nice mix of size, speed and experience.
THE SKINNY: All eyes will be on sophomore Rondale Moore. He is coming off a left hamstring injury that limited him to just only games last season, when Moore had just 29 catches for 387 yards and two scores. As a true freshman, he was a consensus All-American, making 114 receptions for 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns. The explosive and elusive Moore looked to be game-ready this spring.
With Moore out most of last season, true freshman David Bell emerged as the team’s go-to wideout. The 6-2, 210-pound Bell arrived on campus amid great hype and lived up to it, earning Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors after making a league-high 86 grabs for 1,035 yards and seven touchdowns. And Bell did this while dealing with a shoulder injury most of 2019.
The talent parade continues with sophomore Milton Wright, who like Bell is a big target (6-3, 195). Wright flashed potential but needs better hands.
What sophomore Amad Anderson, Jr., lacks in size (5-11, 175) he compensates for with toughness and sticky hands. He will have a role in this crowded position group. The feisty Anderson caught 31 passes for 343 yards and three TDs last season.
Fifth-year senior Jackson Anthrop was sitting out this spring as he recovered from a lower-leg injury incurred last year. Just call him “Mr. Dependable.” Fellow fifth-year senior Jared Sparks also was out this spring dealing with a leg injury. He may have trouble cracking the rotation.
A cavalcade of youngsters has the staff excited. T.J. Sheffield and Mershawn Rice redshirted last year as freshmen. Sheffield was primed to play a role in 2019 before getting hurt (leg). Rice had a hamstring issue last year that kept him out.
Early enrollees Maliq Carr and Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen turned heads during the eight spring practices Purdue got in before all organized team activities got scrubbed. The 6-5, 225-pound Carr casts an imposing shadow. Marcellus Moore also enrolled early, but be focused on track. The diminutive Moore brings Olympic-caliber speed to the football field. He is an intriguing player.
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