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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 3

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Page 43 of 81

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 3 44 off that, I'll be prepared next spring more than I would have been in the summer. … It all came together." Barnes showed flashes of physicality — he had a highlight-type hit against an Indiana kickoff returner — and a willingness to play downhill in the run game. But he also looked fresh- man-like at times, of course, especial- ly when he struggled to get off blocks or show the kind of instincts coaches hope he builds. Still, it was much more good than bad in Year 1. "That guy has a chance, the phys- ical tools, to be really, really good," linebackers coach Nick Holt said late in the regular season. "He's exceeded my expectations because I thought he wouldn't play, he'd redshirt. But, boy, he was coming into camp, he was in shape, picking up the stuff. He's very physical for a young guy, athletical- ly very talented. The physicalness of this conference and of this level was no problem for him. He adjusted a lot quicker than I thought. "Mentally, he just has to keep play- ing linebacker and learning our sys- tem. I think he can be really special if he continues to learn our package. I'm really happy with Derrick. I think he's had a really good freshman year. He played because he's such a good player." Jones and Larry had fewer opportunities than Barnes on defense but still made an impression on the coach- ing staff. Holt liked Jones' natural football instincts, and that could be one reason he's been tagged — at least for now — to be a starter next year. "He's a big kid. He runs better than you think. He's more explosive than you think," Holt said. "I'm real- ly excited about him taking over next year the middle 'backer for where Ja'Whaun vacates. I think he can be really good." Larry surged early, especially on special teams, but a high ankle sprain against Michigan slowed his progress the second half of the season. He's not as big or physical as Barnes or Jones, Holt said, but "he might play harder than the other two when it's all said and done." It'll be an interesting dynamic in 2018 because it's likely Purdue moves Bailey from outside to inside — where he's better-suited, even though he had a very pro- Tom Campbell Graduate transfer T.J. McCollum delivered in nearly every way in his only season for the Boilermakers, using an aggressive presence to produce on defense and a winning mentality to help reverse the locker room. Celebrates Student-Athletes Meet You At Arni's TM Greg Phillips, Wide Receiver Senior, Sales and Sales Management, Atlanta Phillips, one of the stars of the Boilermakers' Foster Farms Bowl victory, was one of 67 Boilermakers recognized for their continued success in the classroom with Academic All-Big Ten honors, as the conference office announced the fall honorees for the 2017-18 school year in early December. Football led the way with 27 Academic All-Big Ten student-athletes. Women's cross country and women's soccer both had 11 honorees. Men's cross country (7) and volleyball (4) also had multiple student- athletes recognized. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten acclaim, student-athletes must be in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or better. Danny Ezechukwu, Joe Schopper, Da'Wan Hunte and Jacob Thieneman all earned both Academic All-Big Ten and honorable-mention All-Big Ten recognition this fall. Both starting quarterbacks, Elijah Sindelar and David Blough also garnered Academic All-Big Ten accolades.

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