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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 27, Digital 6

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 27, ISSUE 6 30 arate ourselves," Jones said. "There's some guys, they made the depth chart and it may say 1-5, but it's pretty close, that 1-5. So you have to do something to separate yourself. If it's in conditioning, if you're not in the front, then where you at? If you're mixed in the pack, you're not separating yourself. It's that type of fueling. That just raises the level of competition and raises the level of our play because you know if you're not out there doing what you've got to do, there's guys coming to take your spot. We have to have that dog mentality right now." WR A position of strength in 2016 took a significant hit with the losses of four senior receivers who accounted for 50 percent of the team's receptions, 60 percent of re- ceiving yards and 68 percent of receiving touchdowns. There are only three returning receivers who earned offensive snaps last season: Greg Phillips (unofficially, 235), Anthony Mahoungou (124) and walk-on Jarrett Burgess (13). No wonder Brohm targeted that position the most in recruiting. It's likely the newcomers will be the ones log- ging the most game reps with the ad- ditions of junior college transfers Isaac Zico and Terry Wright and Notre Dame graduate transfer Corey Holmes. But there are rookies as options, too, with D.J. Edwards and Tyler Hamilton, who both enrolled early but were injured for parts or most of the spring, and June ar- rival KeyRon Catlett. Redshirt freshman Jackson Anthrop could battle for snaps in the slot, too. But there's little doubt heading into the season this is the biggest question mark. Brohm often seems to pause — in an attempt to find the polite phrasing — when asked about the receiving corps. Ultimately, he calls the group a "work in progress." The unit knows that's how it is viewed, too. But players are trying to not listen and just focus on showcasing what talents they think they have. That starts with Phillips, who made his first start as a true freshman in place of DeAngelo Yancey in 2014 and has been on the field to varying degrees since then. He's hoping he'll be the go-to guy in 2017, though, saying he feels like his time is now. "Last year, I feel like I didn't get started quickly enough," said Phillips, who dropped four passes in the first three games and saw his snaps dwindle from there. "I took it personally. I didn't get the ball as much, but in practice, I did get the ball. That's one thing mentally, it just slowed me down so I wasn't able to perform how I should have. I still made some third-down conversions, but third-down conversions and touchdowns are two dif- ferent things. "I had to just be patient and know a plan is going to come and wait for it." Phillips isn't quite sure where he'll factor into the of- fense. He's played slot and outside, but the new additions have both of those positions covered. Zico, who plays outside, is supremely confident he can have a breakout season after putting up solid numbers (46 catches, 938 yards, 14 touchdowns) at Georgia Mil- Celebrates Student-Athletes Meet You At Arni's TM Symone Black Junior, Applied Exercise and Health Black, a junior sprinter and hurdler from Fort Wayne and a key performer on the Boilermakers' 2017 Big Ten outdoor champion women's track team, was one of 69 Purdue student-athletes to be named Academic All-Big Ten in an announcement in late May. Combined with the 57 Boilermakers on the fall list and 59 on the winter list, Purdue had 185 Academic All-Big Ten selections on its rosters for the 2016-17 school year. The women's track and field program, fresh off an outdoor Big Ten title, had 19 of its members recognized for academics. Men's track and field had 10 members feted, followed by nine each from baseball and softball, seven each from men's tennis and men's golf, six from women's golf and two from women's tennis. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.

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