May 11, 1998
When Purdue begins fall football practice in August, it will be without the starting punter from 1997, Brandon Kaser. But don't think for a moment that either Kaser or the Boilermakers are angry with each other.
Kaser has been accepted into the Naval Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Fla., for the June session. Thus, he will forego his final year of collegiate eligibility in order to chase his lifelong dream. The program, which accepts only 50 candidates from a national pool, is the final step before entering flight training school.
"I've been waiting to get into the Navy since I was nominated by Congressman John Myers in high school," Kaser told Gold & Black Illustrated.
Kaser, who was the Big Ten's second-best punter in 1997 with a 44.7-yard average, originally was not accepted because of a heart condition. He had corrective surgery during high school to repair Wolff-Parkinson White Syndrome, which produces a fast heartbeat. Now that he's healthy, Kaser is anticipating his future.
He even helped Joe Tiller this past recruiting season, serving as the flight's co-pilot for one of the coaches' recruiting visits. Kaser assisted on the plane trip from Lafayette to Indianapolis to Fort Wayne.
"I was scared because I didn't want to mess up, but it was nice to do that for him," Kaser told Gold & Black Illustrated. "It went well. It took only 15 minutes from Lafayette to Indianapolis, and 20 from Indy to Fort Wayne."