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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 3

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Page 45 of 81

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 3 46 Quite the combination for cornerbacks, though Abrams is probably the least natural of the three at that position and has been working on learning nuances of that as opposed to safety. There was not quite the tran- sition for Mackey and Major. Major's physical traits certainly helped, though. "He has probably the most speed at our position," Jackson said. "He's a 4.4 guy. He can roll. There's no doubt about that. We saw it in the one-on-ones, the one thing with him different than the other guys, if he gets beat, he can recover and run a guy down. So he has a trait, to me, which we had not had in the program, which is rare. He has size. He's shown toughness. "The great thing with that kid, when you look at his body of work, his natural instincts, playing the ball and things, he, although raw, is going to be another guy similar to Mackey who is very natural at the corner po- sition." Jackson said he was impressed with how Mackey progressed as the season moved on. Mackey needed to get bigger and stronger, and he did that, adding about 11 pounds to reach about 180 by season's end. And he showed up on the practice field late, too, against Purdue's first-team offense. "Coverage-wise, he's going to be a guy who's going to be able to play at this level. There's no doubt about that," Jackson said. "He's got a natural feel for the game. He has the advantage of play- ing against our 1 offense really every time we practice and those are the reps that become valuable because he's see- ing the speed of the game, high-level quarterbacking and receiver play. That, and he's a competitive kid. He's some- body I'm highly encouraged by as we get a chance in spring practices to hopeful- ly have an opportunity to see how much more he can develop because we're go- ing to have to lean on him to see if he can compete to be a starter for us." Purdue had expectations for JUCO T.J Jallow as a hard-hitting safety, but those didn't materialize in Year 1. He'll need to make considerable strides in terms of practice approach and under- standing the defense to supplant either returning safety starter for 2018. Line Purdue opted to load up on snaps for its starters up front this season — the group of guys who were clearly the team's best players in Gelen Robinson, Danny Eze- chukwu, Lorenzo Neal and Eddy Wilson — so it used the season as a development period for most of its first-year D-linemen. Rookies Gio Reviere, Allen Daniels and Roberts McWilliams all redshirted. Junior college transfers Kai Higgins and Ray Ellis played, but their snaps were infrequent. Ellis unofficial- ly only got four snaps against Missouri, but played seven snaps against Arizona in the bowl game. Higgins had a larger role, but there weren't many snaps to go around with Ezechukwu rarely missing any. Higgins used the spring to showcase flashes of abil- ity — so much so Jeff Brohm called him a "pleasant surprise" and said Purdue was "lucky" to get him — but the staff knew he needed to get bigger to contribute Warren Hill, PE, ME '63 Jim Hill, MET '95, MBA '03 Jim Billard, LA '90 Brian Teyema, ME '87 Scott Dierking, IM '77 Russ Nelson, BCM '00 David Pikey, PH '97 Rhonda Orange, BS '03, MBA '07 Bill Silfies, MBA '03 Nick Muscolino, MET '06 Bob Hill, BCM '06 Anthony Camasta, MET '04 Deborah Toth, MET '07 Daniel Gasser, BS '04 Jason Jones, MET '08 Nick Johnson, BCM '09 Bryan O'Neill, BCM '09 Steven Sitkowski, BCM '10 Isaac Townsend, ME '10 Don Wunderlich, ME '13 Taylor Spaulding, PE, ME '12 Jessica James, BS '13 Robert C. Krier, MET '13 Joseph Schraffenberger, ME'13 Michael Rish, BCM '13 Brandon Goldstein, ME '14 Jared Schreiber, MET '14 Dan Schmidt, BCM '04 Grant Fillipitch, MET '12 Chaz Usher, BCM '17 Andrew Swibes, ME '15 Chris Spesia, MET '15 Phil Treely, BCM '16 Ryan Kissane, ME '19 Patrick Flanagan, ME '19 Bryan Prechtel, BCM '17 Jack Erdman, BCM '17 80 + YEARS OF BUILDING EXCELLENCE THE HILL GROUP

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