Notes: Shouldering more

The Boilermakers returned to the practice field on Friday afternoon, but this time donning shoulder pads for the first time this spring. Boiler Sports Report was along the sidelines of Mollenkopf Athletic Center and offers notes and quotes from practice.

-- When the Boilermakers returned to the Mollenkopf turf on Friday, they were wearing their shoulder pads for the first time this spring. Purdue put in two hours of work in its third spring practice.

-- The effort has been strong through the beginning of spring. Said defensive coordinator Greg Hudson: "We're feeding them water with a firehouse right now."

-- One thing that is beginning to stand out is the interaction between the coaches and players. Even between drills and during water breaks, there is constant conversation—mostly about football, but also just simple talking. With the new coaching staff still settling in, the relationships are important to build.

-- The battle a quarterback has been fascinating to watch. Today, true freshman Danny Etling was very impressive. An early enrollee at Purdue, he is still, of course, getting acclimated. I'm really excited to see how he progresses.

-- Etling was asked about his decision to enroll in the spring. He said it was a difficult decision, mainly because he was leaving behind his friends and family. "I miss home, I miss high school, but this has definitely been the best decision for me," Etling said.

-- It has been very interesting to watch offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach John Shoop work with his unit. There is a great attention to detail, and that's evident when you watch each drill. Today, Shoop had his quarterbacks dropping back backwards then turning to make a throw. Shortly after, Shoop rolled three large balls at each quarterback, forcing them to evade the pressure while standing in the pocket.

-- A running back to watch is true freshman David Yancey. He has shown tremendous abilities while being consistent with his technique. There is a lot to be excited about with Yancey.

-- Technique has been a big emphasis of the spring. The offensive and defensive linemen worked on staying low in their stances today. The defensive backs focused on their footwork and turns. This is the time to tune up the basics.

-- Cornerback Frankie Williams now wears 24 on his jersey, switching over from No. 2. He said it's his personal change, going along with all the changes the football program has had. Williams has enjoyed a solid spring thus far.

-- The Boilermakers return to the practice field on Monday after a weekend off. Stay with Boiler Sports Report for continued coverage of Purdue spring practice.

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Northwestern Wildcats, and currently covers the Purdue Boilermakers. A Chicago native, he resides in West Lafayette.
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