WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana — Purdue is just a month away from the start of the 2022 college football season, and the team opened fall training camp Tuesday at the Bimel Practice Complex.
It was the first of 18 August practice sessions leading up to the Boilermakers’ season opener against Penn State on Sept. 1 at Ross Ade Stadium.
Purdue trainer Jeff Brohm believes the team was ready to train for the first day of camp, but would have liked to see a stronger finish. As the Boilermakers continue to get into the practice swing, the intensity will increase in tandem with the daily competition.
“I think they understand the importance of getting better every day,” said Brohm. “We have to keep trying to get better. If I had to judge it like I told the team, I thought we looked pretty slow overall and lacked some finish. Well, sometimes that happens on Day 1 without pads, but we have to make sure we’re pushing ourselves to play harder, play faster and finish.”
Here’s a look at some of the topics Brohm covered after day one of the Boilermakers fall training camp:
Purdue Football uses Guardian Caps
Purdue football players weren’t fitted with full pads Tuesday, but almost every player who trained donned an extra layer of protection over their helmets. These soft shell helmet covers, known as Guardian Caps, are adopted by teams of all skill levels including the NFL.
Although not mandated by the NCAA, Brohm and the Boilermakers decided to use the equipment after considering it for the past few years. Purdue’s offensive and defensive linemen, as well as linebackers, running backs and tight ends will continue to wear them throughout training camp to prevent potential head injuries.
“Anything safety wise that can help deflect some hits, maybe it will help limit concussions, we want to make sure we see if that can help us,” Brohm said.
Transfers Kobe Lewis, Charlie Jones find their way
The Boilermakers brought a series of transfers to the offensive side of the ball, led by an all-around weapon in former Iowa wide receiver Tyrone Tracy. But aside from the hype he’s created leading up to fall camp, there are other players trying to find their touch for Brohm.
Redshirt Junior runs back Kobe Lewis – a transfer from Central Michigan – will try to start in the backfield King Doeruewho is returning for his senior season with Purdue.
Lewis missed the entire 2021 season with the Chippewas through injury but recorded 468 yards on the ground in just six games the year before. As a sophomore in 2019, he rushed for 1,074 yards and scored 12 touchdowns.
“He’s going to push King (Doerue) into backcourt there. We just have to kind of familiarize him with the terminology and how we train and things like that,” said Brohm. “But I think he’s got talent, he’s played a lot of football. He was sidelined last year because of injury so he just needs to get going again.”
The Boilermakers have averaged less than 100 yards per game on the ground in each of the last three seasons for the past three seasons.
Scroll to Next
Another Iowa transferee, Charlie JonesShe’s also early in the mix during fall camp. Purdue’s receiving corps is not at full strength, giving the All-Big Ten returnee an opportunity to make an impact on offense.
Jones had 764 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns in three seasons before ending with the Boilermakers.
“We’re going to use it in a lot of different ways – outside, inside, recoil,” Brohm said. “He has a good receptivity, he can walk good distances, he understands football. He will definitely be a big factor for us.”
Quarterbacks look sharp
Brohm said that quarterback will start Aidan O’Connell has continued to work this off-season to hopefully build on a strong finish to the 2021 season. Behind O’Connell, Austin Burton is “a reliable replacement” and both Michael Alaimo and Brady Allen continue to improve as well.
“I think we’re all going to need them at some point, whether it’s this year or beyond,” Brohm said.
Depth along the offensive line
In the early stages of fall camp, Brohm feels the team is gaining depth along the offensive line. The unit brings back starters Gus Hartwig, Spencer Holstege, and Eric Miller.
The goal is to have eight or nine players who can rotate at any time, with three or four more progressing throughout the season.
“They have to do all the dirty work, they don’t get credit — they just get a lot of blame when things don’t go well,” Brohm said. “But it’s a good crew, led by some veterans.”
Tee Denson is still working through injury
Kansas State transfer cornerback tee Denson suffered a double sports fracture that didn’t have surgery until he came to Purdue. He wasn’t able to compete with the team in the spring, but Brohm said he’ll work through camp to have a chance of being ready for the start of the season.
“He’s a good size. Of course he needs to get in better shape because he couldn’t walk that much, but I think he can help us at some point,” said Brohm. “Even if it’s not the beginning, hopefully by the middle of the season.”
Stories related to Purdue Football
- Purdue Football Announces Fall Camp 2022 Schedule: Purdue Football opens fall camp on Tuesday, August 2 and will have 18 practice sessions before the season opener against Penn State. Here’s the full breakdown of the drill schedule, open to the media and public. CLICK HERE
- 2023 Four-Star QB Splits From Purdue Football: Rickie Collins, a 2023 four-star quarterback from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, announced his decision to retire from the Purdue football program. CLICK HERE
- Purdue surpasses 36,000 season ticket sales for 2022 season: Purdue Football has sold more than 36,000 season tickets before the start of the 2022 season, the most since 2008. The team opens Thursday, September 1 at Ross-Ade Stadium against Penn State. CLICK HERE
Big Ten daily
- August 2nd: Indiana Redshirt senior linebacker Aaron Casey was selected to honor George Taliaferro’s legacy by wearing the number 44 for the Hoosiers during the 2022 season. Also, Ohio State will play basketball at the 2022 Maui Invitational, and Michigan Football earned a four-star commitment after the BBQ at the Big House event. CLICK HERE