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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 26, Digital 6

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 26, ISSUE 6 55 J ake Replogle is doing things that are ridiculous. Just watch the tape. That's what Randy Melvin did when he first got to Purdue. He put on the film and saw a "freak." It was like the old days. Melvin's first stint at Purdue in the late 1990s saw him help mold the likes of Rosevelt Colvin, Akin Ayodele and Chike Okeafor. And now he was going to get a chance to tutor and shape another NFL-type talent. This one is on the interior, though. But no worries. Melvin already has such a solid building block. Replo- gle's preparedness, work ethic and relentless motor offer the foundation, while his strength, quick first step and emphasis on technique help him do the rest. As in bully opponents. A lot. At least that's what Melvin saw when he first turned on the film. And it's what he saw consistently during Pur- due's spring ball, Melvin's first with the team. It's what Darrell Hazell already had seen for three sea- sons on Saturdays. "I'd be shocked if he's not one of the best 10 guys in the country at his position," Hazell said. "Shocked." It's what Replogle has wanted to be: A consistent, chaotic wrecker of pockets, blower-upper of run plays. Even if he doesn't quite say it that way. Replogle is the rare humble star, with an almost aw- shucks attitude about his ability and next-level poten- tial. He'll admit he'd love to play in the NFL like brother Adam, but he quickly follows that with how intently fo- cused he is on his final season at Purdue. The prima- ry goal is getting the program turned around, winning games again. Secondarily, he mentions personal ex- pectations for his senior year, though they're vague. He just wants to "get better, increasing my level of play." He knows he's done it each season he's been here. And that transformation in itself has become legend- ary among teammates, how Replogle has morphed from a 240-or-so-pound freshman defensive end into a nearly 300-pound, physically stout 3-technique tackle. It's helped Replogle build quite a reputation with team- mates awed by his ability, who routinely throw out words like "monster" or " "beast" when referring to his play, and who respect him for how he's become dominant: The way he works. "It's amazing," linebacker Danny Ezechukwu said. "It's nonstop. What you see on Saturdays is what I see week in and week out, from the weight room to the film room to meetings. He's a bona fide leader, through and through, by example. I could talk about it for days." Replogle, though, shrugs off such compliments. "I'm just a player who does his job," he said. One who just happens to do it at an all-league-type level. When asked what Melvin wants from Replogle this season, he said simply: "I want him to be Jake Replogle." A closer look at what that entails: Tom Campbell Not only has Jake Replogle transformed his body over his four seasons — adding 50 pounds the right way, bulking up in strength and muscle — but his willingness to work and improve his technique and craft has created an all-league- type player. VOLUME 26, ISSUE 6 55

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