August 20, 2007

Will any freshmen play?

A half dozen true freshmen played for Purdue in 2006, tied for the second most of the Joe Tiller Era in West Lafayette.

Don't expect to see such a thing in 2007.

It's not that Tiller doesn't like his new crop of rookies; it's just that Purdue's depth chart is such that it should be difficult for any first-year player to claw to the top of it, he said.

"I do think we'll probably play two or three of them," Tiller said. "Who they end up being might be determined by the health of our squad."

If any freshmen do play, the best bets may be Nickcaro Golding, Gerald Gooden and/or Ryan Kerrigan (who played with a broken hand during camp) in a depth capacity at defensive end, where the ranks are thin, especially so in camp thanks to some injuries. Those players saw second-team snaps in camp while senior projected starter Mike McDonald nursed an injured ankle.

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