Aug. 10, 2008
2008 Purdue Roster
2008 Purdue Schedule
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VIDEO: Football Season Finally Here | VIDEO: Tiller Talks About First Practice
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - It seems like forever since Chris Summers nailed a 40-yard field goal to give the Purdue football team a last-second 51-48 victory over Central Michigan in the 2007 Motor City Bowl.
In truth, it has been 228 days, and this morning the 2008 Boilermakers officially got things started on a picture-perfect morning and early afternoon.
The Purdue veterans worked out from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., with the newcomers going from 10:40 a.m. to 12:50 p.m.
"For maybe the first time since we have been at Purdue, we have no academic or injury issues on the first day of camp," 12th-year head coach Joe Tiller said. "Other than that, it was pretty much a typical first day. I did like the way the freshmen got through the 300 shuttle."
Two newcomers who worked out with the veterans were wide receiver Arsenio Curry and safety Dwight Mclean. Both are junior college transfers who figure to contribute. Mclean's emergence could mean Brandon King, who started all 13 games at safety last season, moves to cornerback, which is where he lined up today.
"Brandon runs really well, and we would like to leave him at corner," Tiller said. "I asked Curtis (Painter) and G.O. (Greg Orton
) about Mclean when we were up in Chicago for Big Ten Media Day because I haven't seen him play in person, and they both said he was the real deal. That really would help us. We can always move King back to safety, but because he missed the spring (shoulder surgery) we felt we needed to get him as many reps at corner as we could from the start."
In other personnel-related news, Tiller said that Sean Sester would move back to right tackle and Zach Jones would switch to the left side. Sester has started all 38 games for Purdue the last three years - 25 at right tackle in 2005 and 2006 and 13 at left tackle last season. Jones started 12 games at right tackle in 2007 after sitting out the 2006 campaign.
"Sester is a natural right tackle, and at the end of last season the guy who was playing the best for us in the offensive line was Jones," Tiller said. "Danny (offensive line coach Hope) and I agreed we should make that change."
Fifth-year defensive tackles Ryan Baker and Jermaine Guynn, two of the Boilermakers' captains, stuck around for more than half of the newcomer practice to encourage their rookie teammates.
Purdue returns to the practice fields Monday from 9:50 a.m. to 12:05 p.m.
The Boilermakers open the season Sept. 6 against Northern Colorado at Ross-Ade Stadium.
Roster Notes: The training camp roster stands at 104. The position breakdown: offensive linemen (19), defensive backs (18), wide receivers (14), linebackers (12), defensive ends (9), defensive tackles (9), running backs (8), tight ends (6), quarterbacks (5) and specialists (4).
Following a recent trend among defensive backs, junior cornerback David Pender has switched to a single-unit uniform number, opting for 9 over 35. Others who have done so the last few years include King (18 to 7), Torri Williams (13 to 2) and Terrell Vinson (34 to 5).
Wide receiver D.J. Donley, a transfer from Georgia Tech, has not reported but is expected on campus this week. He is eligible to practice but not play for the Boilermakers this season.