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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 26, Digital 6

Gold and Black is a multi-platform media company that covers Purdue athletics like no one else.

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 26, ISSUE 6 78 Tanner Hawthorne, OL Gold and Black: You looked really closely at the strength coaches and the weight room before you decided to come to Purdue because you knew it was going to be a really important piece for you. So is that something you're excited about — to see how they can help you transform your body? Hawthorne: "Yeah, it is. I actually really did look into the strength coaches. All throughout my high school career, we had our head coach and our assistant head coach, they would run the weight room. So in high school, we didn't have a strength coach. So I'm looking forward to what they have to offer vs. what my coaches had to offer at my school. I know there will be a difference because all they do is work out and they're workout freaks. They know everything you'd need to know. I'm interested to learn new techniques and lift more weight, if I could. Lift as much as possible. I'm definitely looking forward to the strength coaches." Gold and Black: Have you been an offensive lineman for most of your life? Where did you start off playing? Hawthorne: "I started playing when I was 6, and I was an offensive linemen since I was 6. I never really played quarterback and none of that dream stuff. I've always been a hands-in-the-dirt kind of guy. Playing high school, I started out at center and I grew, like, five inches and I'm a tackle." Benaiah Franklin, WR Gold and Black: What's your greatest sports achievement (excluding signing with Purdue)? Franklin: "We do a 7-on-7, it's called Cam Newton's 7-on-7 (tournament), and if you win that whole thing in Georgia, you get to go on a fully paid trip to North Carolina. Ever since last year, before the season, all the seniors would talk about, 'We're going to win that. We're going to do it this summer,' and then we actually did end up winning. It was crazy. We never thought we really were going to end up winning the whole thing, then we did. We went to North Carolina for a free trip with our teammates. It was just really exciting. "The year before, we did really well, but fell short. And ever since that day, we said, 'We're going to win it next year.' " J.D. Dellinger Semisi Fakasiileiki Javonte Ferguson Benaiah Franklin Kamal Hardy Tanner Hawthorne Josh Hayes Jared Sparks Rob Simmons Simeon Smiley Jack Wegher Anthony Watts Brandon Shuman C.J. Parker Brandon Shuman, CB Gold and Black: The part of Miami that you lived and grew up in, there are some things that you've needed to avoid. Shuman: "I'd say I live in one of the worst parts of Miami. Like, I mean it's really tough. Just to hear Miami, people are like, 'Oh my God, you're from Miami. How is it?' But it's not like that. If you live in Miami, you know what it's like. Miami isn't really how it seems. It's really, really bad down here. "My neighborhood has like shootings every other night. I've had about four or five drive-bys on my street, houses and buildings being shot up. I've seen people get killed. It's crazy. I've seen so much happen. Our house has been broken into before, a lot of things stolen from us. It's really tough down here. The neighborhood I stay in is really tough." Anthony Watts, DT Gold and Black: Give me a scouting report. Watts: "I've just got a high motor. I'm going to go get it. I'm probably not the fastest, not the strongest, but I'm going to let my presence be known on the field one way or an- other. Just keep going hard every play. I'm quick off the ball. My footwork is very good for my size. I've always been good at footwork and (had) quick feet. Agility, that's one thing I've practiced for a long time, growing up playing football, so I use it really well." Gold and Black: A high motor seems like something guys have or they don't. Is that just how you've always played? Watts: "When I was growing up playing football, my dad used to always tell me that he can't teach me to have that dog fight inside you. It's something you have to build and get yourself. As the years went by, I just got that hunger inside me. There's stuff that motivates me. If there's something going on in my life or going on around me, I just use it to motivate me and just make sure I go all out and do it just to get the job done." C.J. Parker, S Gold and Black: What do you think the adjustment will be like? Parker: "With any adjustment in life, with me being a military child, I think I'll be able to handle it very well. I know how to move from different locations and adapt and meet new faces, create new relationships. "Definitely the work ethic football-wise, it will not be in question. That's why the coaches recruit us, that's the big thing. You want to have someone who has a good work ethic, you don't want to bring someone in who isn't ready to give an arm and a leg. I think maybe the biggest adjustment for me is going to be the speed of the game. I know I played at the junior college and I understand that I played against people who are just as old as the people at Purdue on the football team and just as good as the people on the Purdue football team, although the Purdue team has a lot of talent on it, and I know the difference is the speed."

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