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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 4

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 4 64 The incoming freshmen appear to offer the variety Holt will need to spread across the front. In December, Jeff Brohm used the word "versatile" to describe Cravaack, Deen and Stokes, but he also men- tioned Marks could grow into playing on the inside in- stead of just end, too. Maybe only Johnson is set because he's expected to come in with a clear defensive-tackle body (meaning 300 or so pounds). Perhaps Sullivan is a hybrid end to start, but Brohm thinks Sullivan can get bigger, too, so maybe he winds up a hand-down end. "I feel like we have a good all-around perspective of everything, a lot of quick guys, a lot of strong and big guys," Stokes said. And they're all hungry to prove they belong. Even though Stokes isn't quite sure where he'll end up by training camp — he's 6-foot-4, about 255 pounds — he said he's training to be ready for wherever Purdue puts him. He'd been a defensive end most of his life but was switched to outside linebacker as a junior at Stan- hope Elmore in Alabama — and put up very, very good numbers (92 tackles, five sacks and four interceptions) — but then a new head coach moved him back to end for his senior season. In his career, Stokes had 311 tackles, 24 sacks, 43 TFL and seven INTs. "I'm the type of person that I learn quick. So if you tell me what I have to do, what I have to cover and my role, then I'll exceed at it," Stokes said. "I feel like I can play it all. No matter what size I am because I have the quickness and skill level to play it all. "I feel like if I come in and I work real hard, work my butt off, I feel like I could be a starter or in the rotation (as a freshman)." Marks may have expectations coming in because of the label Brohm laid down in December: "Country strong." Marks says he took that as a compli- ment, but he also made sure to say that's not necessarily an indication he's strong, just that he has a strong handshake. "I don't consider myself the strongest guy around," he said. But one reason Marks wanted to enroll early was to get more time to work on that strength and size. He came to Purdue in January about 255 pounds, but he wasn't quite sure when he came where he was projected to play. If he could rally surge in the spring and the offseason, maybe he'd be building toward tackle. But, initially, he prob- ably figured to be a big end. "I'll know more when I get there," he said in January. "In college, you're going to put on weight anyway. You're going to be stronger, faster, smarter, all those things." It's not just size and strength, though, that Marks thinks can give him an opportunity to, at least, play early, which he desperately wants to do. Like the other guys in his class, he has big goals for his rookie season. "I want to learn as much as I can. I want to become a very intellectual football player," he said. "I want to be able to, if Coach comes in and points out stuff, I want to be able to tell him what it is, what position it is, what it's supposed to do and tell him everything about every other position. "I know it's not going to be easy and very unlikely, but I want to start. I want to play. The main thing is I want to play." Sullivan, Deen and Cravaack also will need to get bigger Item #7270 $24.95 (plus $4 S&H) Indiana Residents Please Add 7% Sales Tax ACCEPTING PRE-ORDERS NOW! EXPECTED SHIP DATE IS MARCH 19, 2018 GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED • 1-800-876-4678 2605 Yeager Road • West Lafayette, IN 47906 • Officially licensed Mickey Mouse banner (single-sided) • Designed to hang vertically from an outdoor pole or inside as wall decor • Durable polyester banner measures 28"x40" with a 2.5" pole sleeve • Poles and hardware not included • Made in USA The Mouse Is In The House!

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