1998 Purdue Football Spring Prospectus

March 13, 1998

Head Coach: Joe Tiller (Montana State, 1965) O-(765) 494-3220 or 3224 Record at Purdue: 9-3 (One Year) Career Collegiate Record: 48-33-1 (Seven Years)
Assistant Coaches:
Offense: Scott Downing (Sterling College, 1979)-assistant head coach, running backs, special teams Jim Chaney (Central Missouri State, 1984)-co-offensive coordinator, offensive line, recruiting Danny Hope (Eastern Kentucky, 1981)-offensive line Greg Olson (Central Washington, 1986)-quarterbacks Kevin Sumlin (Purdue, 1987), receivers
Defense: Brock Spack (Purdue, 1984)-defensive coordinator, linebackers Tim Burke (Luther College, 1977)-defensive backs Randy Melvin (Eastern Illinois, 1982)-defensive ends Gary Emanuel (Plymouth State, 1982)-defensive tackles
1997 Overall Record: 9-3, Alamo Bowl Champion, Ranked 15th in both polls 1997
Big Ten Record (Place): 6-2 (Tie for Second)
Offensive Formation: One-back, pro-set
Defensive Formation: 4-3
Lettermen Returning/Lost: 41/18
Starters Returning/Lost: 11/11
Offensive Starters Returning: 4 WR Isaac Jones, WR Gabe Cox, C Jim Niedrach, OG Chukky Okobi
Offensive Starters Lost: 7 WR Brian Alford, QB Billy Dicken, RB Edwin Watson, OT Mark Fischer, OG Brian Nicley, OT Dan Maly, TE Jon Blackman
Defensive Starters Returning: 7 DE Rosevelt Colvin, DE Chukie Nwokorie, MLB Willie Fells, OLB Willie Burroughs, CB Mike Hawthorne, CB Lamar Conard, FS Adrian Beasley
Defensive Starters Lost: 4 SS Lee Brush, DT Leo Perez, DT Greg Smith, OLB Mike Rose Kickers Returning: 2
PK Shane Ryan, P Danny Rogers
Kickers Lost: 2
P Brandon Kaser, KO Chris Arnce

Purdue enjoyed one of those storybook seasons in 1997 that Hollywood dreams are made of. The Boilermakers, behind the leadership of new coach Joe Tiller's staff, turned around their fortunes which resulted in a 9-3 season, second-place Big Ten tie (6-2 mark), final ranking of 15th in the national polls and a victory in the Builders Square Alamo Bowl. It was the Old Gold and Black's first winning season and bowl appearance since 1984, and highest national finish since 1979. The 9-3 record was the nation's second-best turnaround (from a 3-8 record in 1996).

Purdue led the Big Ten in passing (285.2 yards per game) and total offense (459.2) in 1997. It ranked seventh in the NCAA in total offense, 13th in passing and 22nd in scoring (33.0). The opportunistic defense helped the team lead the conference and rank ninth in the country in turnover margin with a school-record plus-14 total. Boiler fans took notice in a big way, averaging 51,690 fans per home game, an increase of 14.1 percent over 1996 and the highest average since 1988.

Tiller, who recently had his contract extended through the 2003 season after winning National and Big Ten Coach-of-the-Year honors, welcomes back 41 lettermen and 11 starters for the start of spring practice. A highly-regarded recruiting class will join them in the fall, although five junior college transfers already are on campus and will take part in spring drills.

Seven returning defensive starters provide high hopes for the stop troops. The secondary and linebackers each lost only one player, and the line lost both tackles. End Rosevelt Colvin (second team All-Big Ten), middle linebacker Willie Fells (ranked third in the Big Ten in tackles), outside linebacker Willie Burroughs (198 career tackles), cornerback Mike Hawthorne (team's best cover man) and free safety Adrian Beasley (Alamo Bowl Defensive MVP) are the featured defenders.

The offense must be retooled as only four regulars return. All-America receiver Brian Alford, record-setting quarterback Billy Dicken, the top two running backs, one tight end and three interior linemen must be replaced. Center Jim Niedrach (honorable mention All-Big Ten), guard Chukky Okobi, and fleet receivers Isaac Jones, Donald Winston, Gabe Cox and Vinny Sutherland provide high hopes for another prolific offense.

Two of four kickers will be back. Placekicker Shane Ryan (Purdue's No. 2 scorer in 1997) and punter Danny Rogers are solid returnees.

"We need to address our personnel at several positions this spring, especially offensively," Tiller said. "The defense returns basically intact so it should be stronger and more physical. We need to overhaul the offense but we feel good based on the players who will return. Our wide receivers should be talented and our running back mix will be interesting. The kicking game will be less of a question mark than it was last spring. We are anxious to see how our young players and newcomers will respond."

Aug. 30    at Pigskin Classic vs. USC   11:30 a.m. PDT (ABC-TV)
Sept. 12   RICE                         TBA
Sept. 19   CENTRAL FLORIDA              TBA
(Band Day, Parents' Day)
Sept. 26   at Notre Dame                1:30 p.m. EST
Oct. 3     MINNESOTA                    TBA
(P-Awards, Hall of Fame)
Oct. 10    at Wisconsin                 TBA
Oct. 17    at Penn State                TBA
Oct. 24    ILLINOIS                     TBA
Oct. 31    IOWA                         TBA
Nov. 7     at Northwestern              TBA
Nov. 14    at Michigan State            TBA
Nov. 21    INDIANA                      TBA

Times tentative and subject to change. The earliest kickoff is 11:20 a.m. EST.

1998 Purdue Alphabetical Football Roster
Updated Feb. 26, 1998
No.  Name               Pos.  Ht.    Wt. Elig.  Hometown (High School)    
96  *Allen, Ian          DT   6-4   260   So.   Fairburn, Ga. (Westlake)
33   Austin, Da'Shann    CB  5-10   175   Jr.   Liberty, Mo. (Coffeyville, Kan., C.C.)
7  **Beasley, Adrian     SS   6-0   195   Jr.   Atlanta, Ga. (Douglass)
28  *Bell, Henry         CB  5-11   180   Sr.   Los Angeles, Calif. (Montclair Prep)
53  *Berch, David        LB   6-4   225   So.   Alta Loma, Calif. (LaVerne Damien)
42  *Botts, Brent        DT   6-3   255   So.   Cincinnati, Ohio (LaSalle)
15  *Brees, Drew         QB   6-1   200   So.   Austin, Tex. (Westlake)
22   Bunten, Aaron        K   5-9   185   So.   Danville, Ind. (Brownsburg)
23***Burroughs, Willie   LB  5-11   200   Sr.   Punta Gorda, Fla. (Charlotte)
85  *Clopton, Chris   WR/RB   5-7   163   So.   Lynwood, Ill. (Thornton Fractional South)
73   Cohen, David        OL   6-4   298   Jr.   Ballwin, Mo. (Lafayette)
59***Colvin, Rosevelt    DE   6-3   245   Sr.   Indianapolis, Ind. (Broad Ripple)
22 **Conard, Lamar       DB  5-10   197   Jr.   Elkhart, Ind. (Central)
8   *Cox, Gabe           WR  5-10   190   Sr.   Tucson, Ariz., Mountain View
43  Crabtree, J.         RB   5-9   205   Jr.   Wichita, Kan. (Coffeyville, Kan., C.C.)
20   **Daniels, Chris    WR   6-3   202   Jr.   Clearwater, Fla. (Clearwater)
99   Davies, Kurt        LB   6-3   230   So.   Evansville, Ind. (Central)
50   Dinkins, Brian      DE   6-2   250   So.   Indianapolis, Ind. (Arlington)
38   *Doe, Brady         DB   6-1   175   So.   Tucson, Ariz. (Sabino)
40   **Fells, Willie     LB   6-1   215   Jr.   Palatka, Fla. (Palatka)
87   *Foggio, Rocco      DE   6-4   260   So.   Farmington, Mich. (Brother Rice)
95   Goatley, Jody       DE   6-4   250   So.   Hickory, Ky. (Graves County)
94    *Gorin, Brandon    OT   6-6   270   So.   Muncie, Ind. (Southside)
31   Graham, Tarah       RB   5-8   193   Sr.   Wentzville, Mo. (Wentzville)
30   *Gustin, Billy      DB   6-2   195   Sr.   Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
16   ***Haddad, Eric     RB   6-1   235   Sr.   Westlake, O. (Cleveland St. Ignatius)
11   **Hawthorne, Mike   DB   6-3   195   Jr.   Sarasota, Fla. (Booker)
25   Jackson, Cliff      WR  5-10   180   Jr.   Chico, Calif. (Butte, Calif., College)
26   Jacquay, Bryan      DB   5-7   154   Jr.   Decatur, Ind. (Bellmont)
24   Johnson, Dondre     RB   6-0   205   R-Fr. Kokomo, Ind. (Kokomo)
35   ***Johnson, Lee     LB   6-0   220   Sr.   Palatka, Fla. (Palatka)
6   ***Jones, Isaac      WR   6-0   195   Sr.   Wallingford, Pa. (Strath Haven)
32   ***Jones, Noble    SLB   6-1   245   Sr.   Atlanta, Ga. (Douglass)
72   Kirkpatrick, Josh   DT   6-1   260   R-Fr. Veedersburg, Ind. (Fountain Central)
66   Koppen, Brian       OL   6-6   290   R-Fr. Carpentersville, Ill. (Dundee-Crown)
2   Kurz, Scott        PK/P   6-1   170   R-Fr. Bloomington, Ill. (Central Catholic)
84   Lane, Randall       WR   6-1   205   Jr.   Chicago, Ill. (Los Angeles, Calif., Valley J.C.)
57   **Lee, Ray          LB   6-1   225   Jr.   Indianapolis, Ind. (Cathedral)
91   *Light, Matt        TE   6-4   255   So.   Greenville, Ohio (Greenville Senior)
88   Loerzel, Jason      LB   6-3   195   R-Fr. Park Ridge, Ill. (Maine South/Milford Academy, Ct.)
41   *Ludwig, Matt       RB   6-0   225   So.   Lemont, Ill. (Lemont)
86   Miles, Cortez       WR  5-10   175   R-Fr. Irving, Tex. (MacArthur)
13   Mitchell, Jim       QB   6-3   190   R-Fr. Florissant, Mo. (Hazelwood Central)
74   Mitrione, Matt      DT   6-3   260   R-Fr. Springfield, Ill. (Sacred Heart-Griffin)
58   *Moore, Warren      DE   6-2   260   So.   Memphis, Tenn. (Whitehaven)
17   Neal, Antoine       DB   5-9   185   So.   Indianapolis, Ind. (Lawrence North)
63   *Niedrach, Jim       C   6-3   275   Jr.   LaGrange, Ga. (LaGrange)
82   **Nugent, David     DT   6-5   280   Jr.   Collierville, Tenn. (Germantown Houston)
49   ***Nwokorie, Chukie DE   6-3   260   Sr.   Lafayette, Ind. (Jefferson)
56   *Okobi, Chukky      OL   6-2   310   So.   Hamden, Conn. (Trinity-Pawling, N.Y.)
29   Pernick, Matt       WR  5-10   170   So.   Lowell, Ind. (Lowell)
90   Randolph, Chris     TE   6-5   240   R-Fr. Memphis, Tenn. (Wooddale)
26   **Rogers, Danny      P  5-10   193   Jr.   Sanibel, Fla. (Cypress Lake)
70   Rufolo, Sean        DT   6-3   270   R-Fr. Mokena, Ill. (Lincoln Way)
18   **Ryan, Shane        K   5-9   170   Jr.   The Woodlands, Tex. (McCullough)
17   Smith, Ben        QB/S   6-3   185   R-Fr. Chadron, Neb. (Chadron)
60   *Standifer, Andy    LS   6-1   215   So.   North Judson, Ind. (North Judson-San Pierre)
19   Starling, R'Kes     CB   5-8   175   R-Fr. Arlington, Tex. (Sam Houston)
75   Starnes, Aaron      OL   6-3   310   Jr.   Shawnee, Kan. (Shawnee Mission Northwest)
37   *Stelma, Todd       DB  5-11   185   Sr.   Goshen, Ind. (Goshen)
89   Stratton, Tim       TE   6-4   215   R-Fr. Oak Brook, Ill. (Elmhurst York)
14   *Sutherland, Vinny  WR  5-10   185   So.   West Palm Beach, Fla. (Palm Beach Lakes)
9   *Tolbert, Robert     WR   6-1   195   Jr.   Memphis, Tenn. (Whitehaven)
69   Treutelaar, Justin  OL   6-1   240   R-Fr. Libertyville, Ill. (Libertyville)
61   Turpin, Steve       DL   6-3   240   R-Fr. Lafayette, Ind. (McCutcheon)
48   Upshur, Tim         LB   6-2   210   R-Fr. Trenton, N.J. (Hamilton West)
65 **VanderWeele, Pete   OT   6-5   290   Sr.   Fort Wayne, Ind. (Homestead)
46   *Vaughan, Tom       DB   6-0   185   So.   Lafayette, Ind. (Central Catholic)
90   Williams, Derrick   DT   6-4   300   Jr.   Houston, Tex. (Tyler, Tex., J.C.)
1   **Winston, Donald    WR   5-7   155   Jr.   Indianapolis, Ind. (Scecina)
44   *Withers, Doug      LB   6-2   235   Jr.   South Pasadena, Calif. (South Pasadena)
47   ***Zurba, Chris     DE   6-3   245   Sr.   Streamwood, Ill. (Streamwood)
*Indicates varsity letters won




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