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Gold and Black Illustrated Volume 28, Digital 5

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 5 20 BTN attended it and did an all-access deal — you told players in the huddle afterward, "If the ef- fort is like this, we're going to get our tails kicked in Game 1." How often did you feel like that af- ter practices this spring? Was that an anomaly or something you saw too consistently? Brohm: "I don't think we saw it (effort issues) a ton. That day, specifically, we've got a young defense, and if they don't do all things correctly as far as really just playing with energy and a little bit of attitude and a high confidence level, whether that means they have to chatter more, I just didn't see the desire and intensity you would like on that side of the ball that will help us play better. That's what we're going to have to see from the young guys." Q: That was a foundation of last year's team — that they played with consistent effort. Brohm: "Correct. I felt like last year's team had a great work ethic and, really, on defense, we dominated our offense every day in practice I think a lot of it had to do with we had some senior leaders who played a lot. It's just a lot of new faces. To be a new face, you've got to be able to crank the intensity from the get-go, and I don't see it all the time from our guys right now, but it doesn't mean we're not going to. I think Coach Holt and our staff, that's one of the better things they do, they get it out of them. But when you have 15 practices, some days you have it, some days you don't." Q: From an evaluation stand- point, the best-case scenario was for them to get a ton of reps. So, at least, from that standpoint you have a good sample size of guys who were getting second- or third- team reps in practices last year to getting first- and second-team reps this spring, to have a better grasp on what you have to work with on defense. Brohm: "Right. That's why I'm not worried about that side, but we under- stand everything has to be done right between now and Game 1 to get it to where we want. But I'm not worried we don't have the talent to do it. It's just got to start fast." Q: How do you feel about depth on the offensive line at this point? Brohm: "I think we have more depth on the offen- sive line. I think that is important. A lot of new faces got to play. There were three starters out most of the spring, so it gave a lot of guys opportunity. We still have to improve there. But from the backup center position to backups at tackle and guard, I think we now can rotate more guys in and make it more of a competition. Kirk Barron played at a high level last year, but we have a vi- able backup now that has plenty of reps (Viktor Beach). Grant Hermanns will be back, and we have to get him back to where he feels confident. I think he can be a good player for us. Eric Swingler, we've got to get him stronger and keep developing him in the weight room, but he's a competitor. He's got to be a difference-maker for us. Matt McCann proved to us he can play both guard and on the outside. He actually did a really good job this spring. I saw definite improvement from him. He's got to be a guy who can carry the load as well. There are more guys that we can put in that can play for us and that's always a good thing." Celebrates Student-Athletes Meet You At Arni's TM P.J. Thompson, Guard, Indianapolis Senior, Organizational Leadership P.J. Thompson was named to the Big Ten All-Academic Team for the third straight year in late March. He will graduate in May with his degree and hopes to pursue a career in basketball. Sixty-two Purdue student-athletes are on the list, including Thompson's teammates Grady Eifert, Matt Haarms, Tommy Luce and Dakota Mathias. The list included a variety of NCAA qualifiers and Big Ten champions from five Boilermaker squads. The winter list, combined with the 60 honorees from the fall, brings Purdue's total to 122 for 2017-18. The women's swimming and diving program led the winter sports with 27 Academic All-Big Ten picks, while the men's swimming and diving squad featured 18 award winners. Wrestling added eight from its squad to the list, and women's basketball had four. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.

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