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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 4

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 4 41 Deen's one of numerous defensive line- men coming in who are relatively similar physically, and time will tell whether he remains a big defensive end, a quicker defensive tackle or maybe even a stand-up hybrid type. But like some of the other D-line sign- ees, Deen is advanced physically from a size perspective. That's a decent starting point for any lineman who may have opportunities to contribute earlier in their careers. Height: 6-3 Weight: 255 High School: Lawrence Central Hometown: Indianapolis Senior Stats: 42 tackles J eff Brohm loves the versatility of Branson Deen. The 6-foot-3, 255-pounder played defensive end for Lawrence Central as a senior, but "begged" L.C.'s coaches to play him standing up as a line- backer or rush end. The need, though, came on the defensive line, where he played mostly end and provided a disruptive presence with his power and effort, "a run-stopping machine who can take on pulling guards and wreak havoc," as defensive coordinator Justin Sharp called him. "He is quick and explosive off the ball and his strength numbers were at the top of our lists," Sharp said. "... If he doesn't want to move, you're not moving him." Deen was a July commitment to Purdue, picking the Boilermakers over Syracuse and a bunch of MAC offers and smaller programs. When he signed in December, Brohm lauded the in-state signee for his senior-year pro- duction. He had 42 tackles, although undoubtedly many other plays in the opponents' backfield. "He has quickness at his spot, has the ability to rush the passer, he can probably grow to play both positions (end and tackle) and be very versatile and be able to use his athleticism on interior guys too if we need to move him in there on occasion," Brohm said. "His versatility and quickness will be an asset for him and I think he'll be a very productive player for us." Sharp calls Deen a "natural, positive, leader," willing to go out of his way to draw in teammates of all back- grounds. But he's just as conscientious as a player, preparing for games, specifically by studying film. "He was by far our hardest-working kid and probably the hardest-working kid in the MIC," Sharp said of Indi- anapolis' marquee football conference, the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference. The Purdue Fit Did You Know? Deen also played offensive tackle for Lawrence Central. Branson Deen Defensive lineman "I developed a greater apprecia- tion for Deen's game when I got a chance to see him in person last spring. He's sawed off and he will be giving up leverage to almost every offensive lineman he faces, but Deen is explosive and plays with a high motor." — Midwest analyst Josh Helmholdt take Action photo by Brian Neubert

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