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Gold and Black Illustrated Volume 28, Digital 5

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 5 16 Though Isaac Zico and Terry Wright have in no sense "arrived," there at least were signs this spring the junior college transfers could contrib- ute in the fall after a season of minimal impact in 2017. Jeff Brohm admitted there was pressure on both receivers heading into the spring, that it was important for both to emerge as playmaking threats. Wright was shifted from the slot to out- side, and his top-line speed showed up there, al- lowing him to make plays. But he still had issues, at times, with ball security. Zico had a great start to the spring, showcas- ing his athleticism and ball skills to make plays over DBs, but he struggled toward the end of spring, dropping balls and seemingly slipping back into incon- sistent play. "(Zico is a) guy you've just got to really push him to play as hard as he can," Brohm said. "He has some abil- ity. We have to make sure he plays with confidence, but you have to really make sure he's got some intensity in him when he wants to find a way to get off the ball, run with speed, attack the football. I think if he just continues to work hard to concentrate on those things, he'll become a productive player." Rising receivers? Terry Wright Moving parts The linebacker position suffered one of the biggest hits after the fall with starters T.J. McCollum and Ja'Whaun Bentley and top reserve Garrett Hudson graduating, and Purdue opted to fill one hole this spring by moving a defen- sive back to outside linebacker. T.J. Jallow, who had limited impact as a first-year junior college transfer last season, evacuated his safety spot to play inside the box. One reason Jallow largely was ineffec- tive at safety was because of his inability to quickly grasp his responsibilities in the defense, though he also strug- gled to manage his physicality in a within-the-rules way. Could a move to outside linebacker, that will still require Jallow to cover at times as well as play in run support, be the solution? The spring didn't offer a resounding answer. "I feel a lot better (about Jallow) than I did obviously be- fore spring ball," co-defensive coordinator Nick Holt said. "He needs to keep getting a lot of reps. He's got some ath- leticism out there. He gives us a little more speed on the field, but he needs just to keep on learning that position. It was a little slow at times, but he got better. We talk about triggering or playing fast, and he needs to see it and go. He's still a little hesitant. And a lot of things are new to him since he's been a safety." Brohm sees Jallow's ability to play the new position could be more mental than physical. "Without ques- tion, he's one of those guys who can't get frus- trated if things aren't going well because then the wheels come off," Jeff Brohm said of Jallow, who has a history of taking unneces- sary physical shots at teammates in practices. "But I think when he's locked in and he knows what he's doing and he plays hard and he plays confident, he can be a productive player. You've just got to make sure his mindset, his men- tality, is right on and that he's consistent in that." There weren't any major position switches on offense, but Brohm did experiment with shifting slot receivers to the out- side positions, Terry Wright, KeyRon Catlett and true fresh- man Amad Anderson Jr. among them. Catlett caught a touchdown on a pretty pass from Jack Plummer in the spring game and also showcased playmak- ing ability on deep balls with strong hands and ball skills in the scrimmage a week earlier. "I like the outside because you've got more room to do what you've got to do," Catlett said after the scrimmage. "You've got all the big guys (on the inside). "It's very helpful (to know both) because that shows the coaches you know what's going on, you know what every- body is doing." j T.J. Jallow

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