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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 4

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Page 55 of 88

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 4 56 Again, this signing class is a trans- formative one in the secondary, in the sense that it changes the look of Purdue's defensive back corps immediately, moving toward the sort of height and length Nick Holt and staff prefer in their defensive backfield. Trice helps put a face on that. It would seem as if Trice could use some time to fill out his body, but Purdue does have holes to fill in the secondary, so early opportunities could present them- selves to any of the incoming defensive backs. Height: 6-3 Weight: 195 High School: Christian County Hometown: Hopkinsville, Ky. Senior Stats: 31 tackles, three interceptions, three fumble recoveries J eff Brohm has hit Christian County before, pulling out a couple of players — receiver KeyRon Catlett and corner Kenneth Major — from Kentucky a year ago. He added a third Hopkinsville, Ky., native this cycle, in Cory Trice. The in- coming Boilermaker certainly fits Brohm's mold for a defensive back, being that the freshman is a long, rangy 6-foot-3 safety. And he's one that's proven to be a playmaker, creating six turnovers even though he missed four games at the end of the season with an injury. "He covers sideline to sideline," Christian County coach Steve Lovelace said, "and he really improved on his tackling this season. And every week, he did something different to score. He's a ballhawk, always around the ball." Trice was an early commitment to Purdue, part of that wave of June verbals, doing so over Miami University and Bowling Green, with bigger programs, like Louisville and Kentucky sniffing around, too. That he was rejoin- ing a couple former teammates, including Major whom he shared a secondary with at Christian County, was a good bonus. "I would love to play with them again," Trice said at the time of his commitment. Some recruited Trice as a potential outside linebacker — he'd have to put on significant weight — but he does have some cornerback experience, too. His height and length caused problems for receivers. "He's really hard to throw over," Lovelace said. But at Purdue, Trice will need to add size and strength to his wiry frame. "When he fills out, he's going to be one of the first guys we let off the bus because he looks like a safety should look," Brohm said on the December signing day. "He's a good athlete as well. He can be a productive player." The Purdue Fit Did You Know? Trice is an excellent return man, with a 97-yard kicker return for a touchdown and three punt return scores as a senior. Cory Trice Defensive back "Trice caught the eye of several col- lege programs because of his length. He'll like- ly play safety in college but has the coverage abilities to play cornerback as well. He recov- ers well when he yields a step, as he's skilled in using his height to his advantage." — Southeast analyst Woody Wommack take

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