I was finally able to make it out to one of the eight practices that Jeff Brohm opened up to the fans. It was held at the outdoor practice fields which makes it a bit harder to take everything in but the action was spirited and there were a handful of fun moments to be excited about.
The most important position this season will be quarterback and Jack Plummer still looks like a guy with full command of the offense. He was accurate yesterday with a few moments where he showed off an ability to extend plays and run when nothing was open, which was nice to see.
The story of the day for me was Pierce Clarkson. He looked like a legit option for the future and potentially a guy to develop on the field in certain situations this year. He made quick decisions and he was confident with those decisions. I saw no issues with his accuracy other than an underthrown deep ball that was still catchable for the receiver. Also, after an interception where his receiver fell down, Clarkson came over and went over the route and had some encouragement for the receiver.
Not much else was notable with the quarterbacks. Brock Domann still looks like the next guy up and Harrison Bailey looked good. Brady Allen struggled with his accuracy and looked a little timid at times. I’m interested to see if his play improves during camp.
Chris Bell had the best practice out of the wide receivers. He looks the part when it comes to his size but his ability to separate from defensive backs is what really stood out to me. He had no issue beating guys off the line and he was able to run away from guys on deep routes. He and Kevin Coleman had a very good day.
It was tough to get a feel for the offensive line due to the layout of the practice but they gave the quarterbacks time to get rid of the ball which wasn’t always the case in the spring.
Running back looks to be a battle between Jahwar Jordan and Maurice Turner. Jaws has the edge but Turner has picked up where he left off.
The secondary looked just as good as expected with added depth on top of the guys returning. Not much was different from the spring at any position but the addition of Storm Duck and Cam Kelly are very notable. There are still some fair questions with the depth at some other spots but this team is deep in the back end.
Ben Perry and Antonio Watts both had a good day in coverage in the “Star” spot. They’re versatility will factor into what I think will be a different look for the defense. The Purdue defense was pretty boring last year but I think we could see more pressure with the talent they have in the secondary.
It was good to see Jermayne Lole in pads and at practice. My understanding is that he picked up an injury in the spring and wouldn’t be back for camp. Being out there at all was nice and it looked like he was available to do some drills.
Ashton Gillotte continues to look like a guy primed for a breakout season. He lived in the backfield all day. Adonojah Green and William Carter also had some nice moments rushing the passer. Add those guys in with a healthy Mason Reiger and the depth on both edges is pretty intriguing.
The practice was pretty even overall. There weren’t a lot of plays where one side was dominant and in reality, most plays during scrimmage-type sessions were well defended and well executed by the offense. In my opinion, the tight coverage from the secondary and linebackers was the best part of the day. They made it very tough to complete passes and that will likely translate to the field in a few weeks.