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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 27, Digital 1

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 27, ISSUE 1 29 quarterback in back-to-back season openers since Curtis Painter in 2007 and 2008. Blough wants the instability to end. He knows what he has to do to accomplish that: Per- form well and win. He thinks he can do both. And so does Hazell, who officially named Blough the starter Aug. 22. "I think this team is ready to go very far with him as our quarterback," Hazell said. "I told David, 'There's no reason to look over your shoulder. This is your job. This team will go as you go. If you throw a pick, I don't care. Let it go and keep doing the things you're capable of doing.' "I want him to feel extremely comfortable and not wor- ry about anything (other) than moving the offense." Blough never really let go of the reins. He started eight games last season, though he missed the final one with a concussion, and approached the off- season like he was the starter. He's respected by team- mates as a leader, based as much on the work he puts in as the words he speaks. He wants his actions to speak loudly, though, in Week 1. And he thinks they can. He's a better QB now than at any point in his develop- ment, feeling more comfortable in the pocket and more confident in his decision-making. "My knowledge of the game is as high as it's ever been," Blough said. "I learned a lot in past systems and in this one, it's brought the whole thing together for me. It's finally starting to just click. (QB) coach (Tim) Les- ter always makes a reference (to having) a junior, senior quarterback who's spent time in the system. He can get his guys open by knowing what the defense is going to do. All the young guys think, 'Why are these guys always open?' It's because (the QB) knows where to go with the ball, knows how to make the right decisions, and I think we're starting to get to that phase." FRESH FEEL A significant number of Purdue's rookies could get on the field in 2016, mostly on special teams. The projected group of freshmen who could avoid a first-year redshirt: Jackson Anthrop, J.D. Dellinger, Josh Hayes, Brian Lankford-Johnson, Navon Mosley, Lorenzo Neal, Simeon Smiley and Anthony Watts. Dellinger, Lankford-Johnson and Mosley could play the most significant roles. Dellinger is the no-doubt top kicker, and he largely was solid striking the ball throughout camp. In the kick scrim- mage, he made 11-of-14 field goals, including a 48-yarder, and he drilled a 49-yarder later in camp. He could be the kickoff man by Week 1, too, after competing for that job with walk-on Myles Homan. Mosley surged at the end of camp to get consecutive days of first-team reps at one safety spot. He considers himself a rangy safety who can cover like a cornerback but can deliver big blows in the run game, too. By the opener, he could be in a rotation with senior Robert Greg- ory, who started nine games there last season. "He shuts up and works," Gregory said of Mosley. "A lot of freshmen came in talking. He didn't talk about what he did in high school because it didn't matter. He came out asking questions, worked and now he's contributing. "I don't feel like it's a competition. I feel like (Els) is putting Navon in a position where he's going to contrib- ute to help us win this year." Hazell mentioned speedy Lankford-Johnson as a play- er who needs 10 touches per game. With D.J. Knox out with a season-ending knee injury, Purdue used camp to Tom Campbell Brian Lankford-Johnson is one of a group of newcomers who could play in his first season at Purdue.

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