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PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Brandon King, Torri Williams and the rest of the defensive backfield continue to prepare for the regular season opener Sept. 1 at Toledo.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Brandon King, Torri Williams and the rest of the defensive backfield continue to prepare for the regular season opener Sept. 1 at Toledo.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
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Aug. 17, 2007

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - On opening day last season, the Boilermaker secondary had only one player who had ever started a game for Purdue.

Needless to say, the secondary will be a lot more experienced when it takes the field at Toledo on Sept. 1.

Purdue returns all four starters from last season and adds another two who didn't have much of an impact on the field, but likely would have been starters.

Torri Williams suffered a major knee injury against Indiana State in the first game of the year, forcing him to miss the entire season, and Brandon King returns after being ruled academically ineligible last season.

King has made great strides during the spring and fall training camps and has replaced the injured Brandon Erwin with the first team.

Coach Joe Tiller said King is playing so well right now, he might have moved up the list even if Erwin didn't go down with an injury.

The injury to Erwin doesn't appear too serious and he's expected to return before the start of the year, but Tiller said the staff wants to make sure he comes back healthy. Until then, King will continue to see reps with the first team.

"It's kind of like one guy's misfortune is one guy's good fortune," Tiller said. "I don't think it's a matter of Erwin slipping so much as King really coming on."

That will be good news for a defense that ranked 114th in the nation in total defense, surrendering 432 yards a game.

King said both he and Williams dreaded not being able to play last year and are doing everything they can to make sure they will be around this year.

We thrive off not playing last year. I let a lot of other guys know how much and how bad that feels to not be able to play.

Having the two will also allow the Boilermakers to experiment with different defenses, something that King said the players welcome.

"I think we got eight or nine guys that can jump in and play this year," King said. "With that we can run a lot more things and not stay in one basic defense. We love it; that gives us more options."

Being one of the older guys in the secondary, King said the option of being a leader is something that comes natural to him and it's a role he said he's willing to play as the season progresses.

"I'm not the one to just sit down and follow," he said. "I've never been that type; that's why I feel I bring that to the table when I'm playing."