GBI Magazine

Gold and Black Illustrated Volume 28, Digital 5

Gold and Black is a multi-platform media company that covers Purdue athletics like no one else.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 27 of 60

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 5 28 Major has the biggest of oppor- tunities in front of him now, a chance to start in his second sea- son, after a solid spring in which he jumped in front of more expe- rienced teammates. It's similar for classmate Dedrick Mackey, who capped a solid spring in which he at least earned himself a share of first-team snaps with an even more impressive spring game. Then, the 5-11, 185-pounder recorded two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. "I think the one nice thing about Dedrick and Kenneth is they prob- ably are exactly what we thought they would be," cornerbacks coach Derrick Jackson said. "They're guys who, I think, fit our system really, really well. They're both guys who can run, very instinctive, have very good ball skills, very natu- ral at the corner position, so as you look at what we want to be as a defense, they're kind of prototypes of what we want and what we want to build off of mov- ing forward." Although Major could have played in 2017 — he came in with the kind of physicality needed for the Big Ten, and is also possibly "the fastest, most dy- namic athlete within our whole group," per Jackson — perhaps not playing was for the best. Major admits he had some growing up to do, and that he's not yet a finished product. He'd stay up too late, then miss a couple early-morning workouts. And there'd be consequences for those mistakes. The hamstring issue — first he pulled one, which lingered, then hurt the other after he had returned — only compounded his frustration. He wasn't playing, was hurt and was too easily dis- tracted. He needed to toughen up, a message he heard fre- quently when he called back home to talk to Kenneth Major Sr. Dad told him to stick it out. "I wasn't eating or sleeping right," said the young- er Major. "I was just getting used to everything in the summer. I probably would stay up until 2 (in the morning) playing video games, just being a kid. You've just got to grow up and take the next step. "… In high school, you can kind of loaf. The great ones automatically come in here and go 100-percent and do this, do that, but I've got a lot of growing up to do. "I'm on my way." There were signs of that in the spring. It was in Practice No. 7 that both he and Mackey moved onto the first team, jumping ahead of veterans Tim Cason and Antonio Blackmon. Kamal Hardy was a No. 1 on the first day of spring, but missed all but the first week of practices with an injury. And Day 7 was a good one for both the young cor- nerbacks. They were active in the secondary, knock- ing down passes and showing the kind of consisten- cy Purdue hadn't yet seen. "Those two guys did exactly what we wanted them to do," co-defensive coordinator Nick Holt said. "They're in the perfect position. They had really good springs. They are really good young corner prospects Tom Campbell Kenneth Major has all the physical tools, per his coaches, and probably could have played in 2017. But an injury, and maturity, kept him off the field.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of GBI Magazine - Gold and Black Illustrated Volume 28, Digital 5