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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 3

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 3 41 getting in the playbook and better learning the offense, Brian Brohm said. "So when he comes back, he doesn't have to worry about that," Brian Brohm said. "He can just get his physical part back and we're really looking forward to seeing what he can do. He's an athletic kid. He's strong and powerful in the legs. I would see him being able to break through some tackles and sacks and getting out of the pocket and do some of those things." Wide Receiver With a lack of experience entering the season, Pur- due coaches loaded up on newcomers at receiver, adding a graduate transfer (Corey Holmes), two junior college transfers (Terry Wright and Isaac Zico) and three fresh- men (KeyRon Catlett, D'J Edwards and Tyler Hamilton). Few had the kind of impact the Boilermakers would have hoped for in Year 1 in West Lafayette, but there were flashes of potential, at least, receivers coach Ja- Marcus Shephard said. Holmes left the program midseason after he wasn't as involved on Saturdays as he'd hoped — it didn't help he arrived to campus late, got hurt and never seemed to pick up the playbook, then dropped balls early in the year when he had opportunities. Wright and Zico stuck with it even amidst struggle. Both took time to get up to game speed after trans- ferring from junior colleges, and each had issues with drops or fumbles at times during the season. But Wright offered glimpses of the speed that's unique to the rest of the group — and how that can help this offense, one that could use a gamebreaker — and had 29 catches for 274 yards in the regular season. He often was used on screen passes. "He's got some growth and he's got to mature a little bit more. We've talked about those things, and trying to understand that a little bit better, exactly what is re- quired as a professional. Little by little, we're getting a little bit more from him," Shephard said late in the season. "He has his setbacks and then we get a little bit more from him, little bit more from him. So that's where we've been going for him. It's much better than what it initially started as, but I don't want him to hear this and think he's where he needs to be. No, he's not. And we're going to continue to work on that. "He's got some speed, quickness about him. It's about being disciplined as a football player and in everything. I tell him all the time, 'If you're not disciplined outside of football, there's no question when you get in football, you're not going to be disciplined either.'" Wright battled shoulder issues throughout the sea- son, an issue he was supposed to have fixed before com- ing to Purdue and that kept him from going full-go right away in the offseason. It's unknown if he'll have to have another surgery this offseason. Zico spent a stretch late in the season in which he hardly played — unofficially 13 snaps in a three-game span — before he came back and scored his only touch- down of the season in the finale against Indiana. He had only six catches for 34 yards this year, though he unofficially played at least 20 offensive snaps in a game only four times. "Zico has some ability, he just has to show up when the lights come on. That's the bottom line," Shephard said before the Boilermakers played Indiana. "In prac- tice, it's hard for a lot of these guys to guard Isaac. But he's got to be able to show up when the lights come out. … The guys who show up, that's who we're going to play." Catlett was the only true freshman receiver to play, but he saw limited opportunities on offense. Unofficial- ly, he played 16 snaps. He did play special teams, though, and returned five kickoffs early in the season. Edwards and Hamilton redshirted, and Shephard liked how each used the season — to get stronger, add weight and learn how to play physically against older, stronger defensive backs. Tom Campbell KeyRon Catlett rarely saw snaps in the slot on Purdue's offense in Year 1, but he was a contributor on special teams as a rookie.

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