After a 6-7 record last season, the Boilermakers are ready to take on the 2019 season with special talent in a young team this year.
The Boilermakers plan to work on better consistency and playing smarter this season. After losing key players quarterback David Blough and safety Jacob Thieneman, the team will focus on ensuring they are playing at a high level of competition. With only 13 seniors, the Boilermakers are dominated by one of the top 25 freshmen recruiting classes in the nation with 31 players.
“I think you do always like to have a veteran team with veteran leadership with guys that have seen the field a lot, but it is what it is,” Head Coach Jeff Brohm said. “I think we’ll have a good mix. Those guys, those seniors, will lead well, and they will be on the field. And these other guys just have to come ready to play.”
Out of those 31 freshmen, it is likely many of them will see a lot of field time, according to Brohm. Wide receiver David Bell from Warren Central High School in Indianapolis has a chance to possibly be in the starting lineup. Additionally, defensive end George Karlaftis not only enrolled early in spring 2019 but also chose Purdue over Alabama and Clemson University among others. He moved to West Lafayette at a young age from Athens, Greece, and has been the best player on defense since spring practice, Brohm says.
“A lot of guys could see the field, and they’re going to have to. They’re going to have to be ready to play because we are going to be a little bit young, but I think they’ve worked hard to this point. And they understand that we need those guys to step in and be ready to go. While they are going to have to learn the job a little bit, I do think they can improve, and they’ll be up to the challenge,” Brohm said.
Besides exceptional new recruits, the Boilermakers also have standout players sophomore wide receiver Rondale Moore, linebacker fifth-year senior Markus Bailey, and senior defensive tackle Lorenzo Neal. According to Brohm, not only are all three men outstanding players, but they also are excellent students and great leaders who will be spearheading the team this year.
Purdue’s first game will be at Nevada University on Friday, Aug. 30, at 9:30 p.m. TV coverage will be provided by CBS Sports Network, and radio coverage will be provided by Boilermaker Sports Network.