September 11, 2007

Tuesdays With Tiller: Purdue football notes

To date, Purdue's only played four true freshmen, a relatively low number by past precedent.

And Coach Joe Tiller expects the number to stay right there.

"I don't see any more than that playing," Tiller said.

Through two games, defensive end Ryan Kerrigan has been a key contributor on defense, while running back Dan Dierking and linebacker Tyler Haston have seen fourth-quarter action in blowouts, with those roles likely to stay as they are. Cornerback Charlton Williams has played on special teams - so has Dierking - but was also elevated to second-string at corner on this week's depth chart, replacing senior Aaron Lane.

Depth charts only tell you so much, as they don't always reflect what would actually occur on game day personnel-wise, but still the simple appearance of Williams' name is telling.

"He's a guy who has some tremendous up-side," Tiller said at his weekly media press conference Tuesday, "but the only way he's (really) going to improve as a football player is to get some playing time. We have to be cautious about when we put him on the field, but on the other side of the coin, I think we need to get him out there.

"He's a guy who can help us this year, and certainly he'll be a force in the future."

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Williams had a tackle for loss in the closing minutes of Purdue's win over Eastern Illinois Saturday.

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