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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 6

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 6 36 Barron did, and he carried that into the spring on a larger scale. He was more vocal in practice than ever, with a specific purpose: "To get the defensive line (mad)," he said. Because Barron knew that inexperi- enced group needed to get fired up and ready for big- ger roles in the fall. "He's taken pride in it," Blough said of Barron's lead- ership. "He's done a great job. We certainly wouldn't have been able to accomplish (what we did) last year without his toughness and the things he played through, injuries, back, neck. I'm proud of how he's transformed his leadership style. (He fit) in with the old guys, following their lead, to now bringing along the young players and making sure people behind him are doing what they're supposed to be doing. "It's a cool transition shift." But maybe not Barron's coolest shift. He actually has a tangible one to morphy from goofy guy to fierce football player. And it happens as he puts his uniform on and gets ready to take the field. Though there's no plan to the application of eye black — it's just take a stick and scribble on his cheeks, basically — it's a signal he's shifting into a different personality, in a way. And it works. As soon as they step on the field, all Herdman has to do is glance at Bar- ron. And he sees the look. Not just the sharp, intensity of Barron's focus but the, uh, actual look. "He's got this eye black running down, the scariest eye black I've ever seen," said Herdman, who's been Bar- ron's roommate for four years. "I'm like, 'I don't know how you got that idea. Why is your face painted on one side?' Scaring me a little bit. "He does a great job of flipping that switch on and off. He knows when it's time to get serious. He knows when it's time to have a little fun. He's done a good job balancing that. It's been fun to watch." A unique personality The stories don't quite line up about who came up with the nickname. Barron thought "The Body" came from D.J. Knox, aided by a couple specialists on the team in 2014, maybe Grant Ellington and Johnny Bednar. But Knox thinks he heard offensive linemen saying it first. Re- gardless of the origin, as soon as Knox heard the nick- name, he knew it worked. "It was just something that kind of fit because Kirk loved to show off his chest and his arms. He just thinks he looks so good," said Knox, laughing, knowing the nickname was never meant as a compliment. "I'm like, 'You know what? I'm going to give him what he wants.' Kirk 'The Body.' It was just something that stuck." Eventually, Barron got a T-shirt with the nickname — which he knows is ironic, "I was probably, like, the most ill-built person when I first got here," he said — boldly emblazoned in bright, neon letters on the front of a black T. And then, naturally, he cut off the bottom to make it a crop-top. "That's the type of stuff Kirk likes to do (that's), like, 'Why?' " Knox said. "That is Kirk." The kind of guy who gladly takes part in roasting offensive players in the unit's group messages. Or in Celebrates Student-Athletes Meet You At Arni's TM Savannah Carson, Sprints/Jumps, Naperville, Ill. Major: Communications-Human Relations Savannah Carson, a key part of Purdue's record-setting women's track and field team that finished a school-best eighth in the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships, is one of 80 Boilermakers to be named to Academic All-Big Ten teams this spring. For the fourth time in her career at Purdue, Carson earned first-team All- America status. It was the third time she was All-American in the long jump after finishing sixth at the '18 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Academic All-Big Ten list includes 24 of Carson's women's track and field teammates, 15 from men's track, 13 from baseball, eight from softball, five each from men's and women's golf and four each from men's and women's tennis.

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