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August 31, 2010

Freshmen highlight depth chart; Tuesday notebook

Purdue issued a pre-Notre Dame depth chart Tuesday, though it's one Coach Danny Hope suggested remains tentative as competition continues at multiple positions.

Included in the two-deep were seven true freshmen, all in second-team slots: wide receiver O.J. Ross (as an "or" with another player); running back Reggie Pegram (or); defensive tackle Bruce Gaston; weak-side linebacker Will Lucas; cornerback Ricardo Allen; punter/placekicker Cody Webster ("or" as first-team punter; second-team at kicker); and long-snapper Jesse Schmitt.

Also, two new junior college transfers - Max Charlot and Mike Eargle - are listed as second-teamers at free safety and corner, respectively.

"That and maybe more when it's all said and done," Hope said of newcomers in general.

Some other depth chart highlights:

Purdue's No. 1 secondary has junior Charlton Williams and sophomore Josh Johnson at the corners and juniors Logan Link and Albert Evans at strong and free safety, respectively.

The second-team listing has Allen and Eargle at the corners, Chris Quinn and Charlot at the safeties.

Redshirt freshman Justin Kitchens is listed as a starting defensive tackle, at the spot classmate Kevin Pamphile might have occupied had he not injured his foot.

Though he was moved to outside linebacker in the spring, junior linebacker Chris Carlino is listed with sophomore Antwon Higgs as an "or" listing as the No. 2 middle linebacker behind starter Dwayne Beckford.

Behind starting center Peters Drey, Andrew Brewer "or" Austen Moret are No. 2.

Waynelle Gravesande, who hurt a "lower extremity" early on in training camp, is listed No. 1 on punt returns, with wide receiver Antavian Edison second.

Running back Al-Terek McBurse is listed No. 1 on kickoff returns, with Edison second.

Hope said Tuesday multiple players - Ross and Dierking among them - could factor into the return game, with game conditions sometimes dictating who's used and when.

Dan Dierking "or" McBurse will be the No. 1 running back. Pegram is listed, also.

Bolden a long way off

Hope was asked Tuesday about injured running back Ralph Bolden's status heading into 2010.

The returning starter underwent ACL surgery in the spring; he has a redshirt year available.

"I can't tell you how far along he is or isn't," Hope said. "He's going through a little bit of stuff in practice, warming up and going through a few drills about half speed, but everything is modified. I certainly don't see him making a difference any time in the near future."

In the absence of Bolden, an All-Big Ten pick a year ago after rushing for more than 900 yards as a sophomore, McBurse and Dierking are possibilities to start, while Pegram is also expected to play this season as a true freshman.

Hope 'excited' about secondary

With all four starters from last year gone, Purdue's secondary now undergoes a total overhaul.

"They're much further along than I could ever have imagined," Hope said of his defensive backs.

"They're guys who have talent. They're exciting to watch practice. They're very competitive. They're aggressive. They run well. They have a knack for sticking close to the receiver. They'll get snapped off a couple times; someone's going to get open. That's the way it is when someone throws the ball a lot."


Hope on offensive tackle Nick Mondek's move from defensive tackle: "I think in the last four or five practices, he's probably made more progress than maybe the first 10 or 15 practices."

Quarterback Robert Marve said he knew Purdue would open the 2010 vs. Notre Dame "before I even committed."

Needless to say, the Miami transfer is looking forward to getting his new start underway this weekend.

"I think this is the first week where I woke up with the butterflies on a Monday," Marve said. "I woke up and I was nervous and I was jittery. I thought that day was game day."

Linebacker Joe Holland on Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist's play against the Boilermakers last year: "They primarily ran the ball, with a little too much success."

As soon as Crist came in against Purdue last year for the hobbled Jimmy Clausen, ND drove 73 yards for a touchdown without completing a pass.

For the best Purdue team and recruiting coverage out there, click here.

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