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April 21, 2008By virtue of their strong performances the past four weeks, two juniors were named Purdue's most improved players for spring Monday.
Quarterback Joey Elliott, perhaps the star of Saturday's spring game in Ross-Ade Stadium, won the award on the offensive side of the ball; Jason Werner - called the team's "best linebacker" by Coach Joe Tiller Saturday - earned the nod on defense.
Newcomer awards, given to players who progressed most profoundly in their first springs, went to junior college Aaron Valentin at wide receiver and redshirt freshman Nick Mondek at defensive tackle.
Center Cory Benton and defensive tackle Ryan Baker earned Pit Bull awards, handed out to recognize tenacious play in spring ball. It was Baker's second such honor in as many years.
Safety/special-teamer Frank Duong won the Hammer Award for his hitting.