August 16, 2007

'Nip and tuck' at guard; Day 11 notebook

Purdue's vacancy at left offensive guard seems to be shaping up into quite a competition, to the point where the Boilermakers may essentially end up with co-starters in sophomores Eric Hedstrom and Zach Reckman.

Coach Joe Tiller said it's "nip and tuck" between the two classmates.

"Our hope is that between the two," Tiller said, "we can get a full game out of them. I say that because we anticipate alternating guards."

As of right now, it's Hedstrom that would seem to have the inside track on starting, for however much that will actually matter.

He saw the lion's share of first-team snaps in the spring at the position vacated by multi-year starter Uche Nwaneri and carried that experience into the off-season.

"Spring helped me a lot," Hedstrom said, "because I was playing with the 1s, giving me experience going against our No. 1 defense. That helped me a lot coming into camp, knowing about the tempo and the physicality."

Tiller said the 6-foot-7, 303-pounder has improved since the spring, but added that Reckman's taken very well to guard after making the move from offensive tackle prior to training camp.

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