WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue’s football team held practice Friday inside Ross-Ade Stadium for its annual Fan Day, giving eager fans a chance to create a game-like atmosphere during fall camp.
Spectators watched the practice while listening to the coaches throughout the afternoon. The Boilermakers have put nearly a week of camp behind them and are fast approaching fully padded practices in preparation for the season opener on Sept. 1 against Penn State.
“I thought our guys came out and had a really good day on their first day of shells, put on some real shoulder pads,” the Purdue coach said. Jeff Brohm said after practice on Friday. “It was good energy, we made a few plays. Obviously there’s a long way to go looking at us.
“Just being specific about everything we do, the ability to understand the little details and the importance of all those things in every position. That’s what we have to keep working on.”
Purdue’s attack gave the fans in attendance something to cheer about, as the unit connected on several long completions during team drills. Deep touchdown passes to wide receivers CollinSullivan, Mershawn Rice and charlie jones everyone drew thunderous applause.
The secondary Boilermaker was unable to register a single turnover in practice Friday as the offense fired at full throttle in the passing game.
“The attack has probably had one of its best days in the first three training sessions, which will come and go, but there is a lot to learn,” Brohm said.
It should be noted that Purdue’s cornerback room has been thin throughout fall camp, with starters Cory Trice and Jamari Brown work their way back from injury. Kansas State Transfer Tee Denson ran out of time in the spring and has not yet reached its full level this fall.
For now, Indiana transfer Reese Taylor is the anchor on the defense perimeter. He has adapted well with the Boilermakers and will be a big part of the high school in 2022.
“We’re always playing young guys in high school, and it shows,” Brohm said. “We have to improve these guys, and we have to get the others healthy and back on the pitch.”
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Trice, Brown and Denson were all seen in pads on Friday, but spent their time participating in individual workouts away from team activities. Brohm said all three were getting closer to entering the field.
The team has scheduled their return around the beginning of August and will continue to work to be ready for the first game of the season.
“They’ve worked hard. Things don’t always go perfectly with rehab, and I think they just have to keep working at it,” Brohm said of the trio of injured cornerbacks. “They’re in pads, sometimes they do things at full speed. You just have to be careful not to overload them with volume too soon because you can have setbacks.”
With Friday’s practice in the books, Purdue is approaching its second week of fall camp. Brohm said he was happy the team had no additional injuries to note so far. Soon, the Boilermakers will be complete, and with them, we will have to get used to taking hits again.
According to NCAA guidelines, teams must have a five-day reacclimatization period during fall training camp. During the first two practices, players can only wear helmets. Then players must wear helmets and shoulder pads for the next three days before proceeding to fully padded workouts.
Friday was the team’s first day wearing helmets and shoulder pads. Purdue will have met the requirements to proceed with fully padded practices by Tuesday of next week.
“Anyone can do things without pads, but that’s not really football,” Brohm said of the team, which has a week of training under its belt. “Now that we have the pads coming back, we just have to acclimate to full speed contact, catching the ball in traffic, hitting people, getting out of blocks, being physical, taking care of football – all real football activities, we will have to be much more specific over the next couple of weeks.”
Full Interview with Purdue Coach Jeff Brohm
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