WEST LAFAYETTE, IN– After a very stormy and rainy morning, Coach Darrell Hazell and the Purdue Football team were forced inside the Mollenkopf Athletic facility for both sessions of their two-a-day. During both sessions of the day, the defense was dialed in. Bull rushing the offensive lineman and “touching” the quarterback for a sack. The offense did have their moments of success. Running back Raheem Mostert took both a 50 and 70 yard run for touchdowns during the morning session. Wide receiver B.J. Knauf also took a jet sweep around the outside for a significant run. It became obvious that if the speedsters can get their hand on the ball on the edge, it will be difficult for opposing offenses to stop them.
Sophomore Cameron Cermin was lined up at left tackle for the third consecutive day. However, it didn’t seem to matter with the consistent pressure the defense was bringing. Dan Monteroso and Ra’Zhan Howard were both held out of today’s practice once again and Hazell calls both injuries “day to day.” Hazell also thinks that Howard could be back sometime by the middle of the week. Purdue was only in shells during the morning session but that didn’t stop players from bringing a full amount of intensity and creating some good collisions inside Mollenkopf.
It was expected that coach Hazell would announce his quarterback for the 2014 season today, a competition that seems to be between red-shirt Sophomore Austin Appleby and true Sophomore Danny Etling. Hazell instead announced today that the competition would be continued through the week and he would be announcing sometime after the team’s jersey scrimmage. The scrimmage takes place Saturday August 23rd at 11:15 a.m. Hazell stated that Etling has not done anything wrong or played badly during camp, however Appleby has stepped up his game and has closed the gap.
As an observation of the whole team, the intensity and mental toughness is definitely different than this time last year. Guys were sprinting from station to station, there was hard hitting between the offensive and defensive lines, and the faces showed a focus that wasn’t seen last year. Another aspect that is obvious, this team is bigger and stronger. While leaving the complex at the conclusion of practice, wide receiver Danny Anthrop was next to me, and it was obvious that he has put on size. This is true for nearly every other player on the team.
Purdue continues their 2014 training camp tomorrow at 10:15 a.m. at the Bimel Football Complex or again in the Mollenkopf football facility if the weather is poor.
Chris Jewell is the Purdue Athletics Beat Writer for Indiana Sports Report. You can follow him on Twitter @BoilerCop and Indiana Sports Report @IndySportsRep