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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 3

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Page 46 of 81

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 3 47 consistently. And Higgins used the season to do that, bumping up to about 250 pounds since coming in about 235. D-line coach Reggie Johnson said he likes Higgins' body and the way he moves. "He'll have plenty of opportunity to show what he can do on the field once we get these older guys out of here," Johnson said. So will Reviere. Reviere may have been a Year 1 option to earn play- ing time had he not suffered a foot injury in camp that required surgery. That set him back for much of the sea- son as he didn't return to individual work with the team until November. But from an eye-test perspective, Re- viere certainly passed despite being a first-year player. And that may make him the most intriguing prospect of the group. "Great body, size-wise. He's got good hips. He's going to be strong, too," Johnson said of Reviere late in the regular season. "I think he's at 275ish. When we first saw him, two summers ago, he was about 235 pounds. He's going to get bigger. We're excited about what he can bring to the table because he looks like some of the D-linemen that our offense faces on a weekly ba- sis. Those guys were 6-whatever and big, massive guys. Giovanni will bring that. He will be one of our big- ger-bodied D-linemen, from a height standpoint, from a weight standpoint. "We expect him to be an anchor for us for the next four years." He won't be the only one with a chance in 2018, though, with Robinson, Ezechukwu, Antoine Miles and Austin Larkin, another starter, graduating. Daniels is 300-plus pounds and has "tremendous quickness," Johnson said, and he could be a factor next season. Ellis took time to get adjusted to a steep learning curve from junior college, whether it be speed of the game or learning the extensive amount of responsibili- ties required by Purdue's front, Johnson said. But John- son thinks Ellis still has potential and ability to produce for the Boilermakers and his cameo appearance in San- ta Clara may be indicative of that. "He has size and has good movement skills. We just have to keep working with him," Johnson said. "He obviously is frustrated because he feels he should be farther along than where he is. But with anything, it's a process. From the weight room, to the class room, he has to get adjusted to all of it. Which he has. He's done a good job. "He knows his best ball is ahead of him. It better be because he only has one more year left with us. We're excited about where he is, what he can be and what he can develop into being. We've just got to make sure we're keeping him on the right track. He'll contribute next year." McWilliams came in incredibly raw and only about 205 pounds, but toward the end of the regular season, he was up to about 218, Johnson said, and was building good weight. Being undersized, though, McWilliams of- fers another aspect: Speed. "He has a tremendous first step," Johnson said. "He's a natural bender. We think he will give us what we need from a speed-rush, pass-rush defensive end. Another plus for him, he's not afraid of contact. To be a wiry guy, he can punch and strike. He's not afraid to put his face in it. We're excited with all those young guys. With Rob- ert we're extremely excited about him because he does have speed, which there's no substitute for, if you've got a fast guy who can rush the passer." j

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