Notes: Establishing depth

Purdue is finding its role players in the early days of camp. Boiler Sports Report brings the details from day four of camp in West Lafayette.

-- So much for it being the dog days of summer. The Boilermakers took the outdoor practice field for their fourth camp practice, with many wearing long-sleeve shirts for the chilly, overcast morning.

-- For the second day in a row, Purdue put on its shoulder pads, focusing on technique before the bullets get live on Wednesday. When asked if his players are excited to begin tackling, coach Darrell Hazell said, "I hope so!"

-- Rob Henry took the first first-team rep at quarterback, as he has each day in camp. Hazell was asked whether outsiders can read into that at all. "Absolutely not," he said with a smile. Fair enough.

-- Toward the end of practice, the Boilermakers went ones against ones, with Danny Etling and Rob Henry each taking reps with the top team. I was reminded of what Hazell said on Monday, how the language of the offense could create problems early in camp. "After practice eight, it'll all slow down for them," Hazell said on Tuesday. "I'm not worried." But John Shoop's pro-style system does have many pre-snap motions and checks, making the quarterback's job very difficult.

-- Junior receiver Dolapo Macarthy should be quite the playmaker for the Boilermakers' offense. The 6-foot-5 target has impressed early into camp. Macarthy said he just hopes to help the team. "I'll play offensive line," he said. "I just want to do anything I can to help us win."

-- Beyond Macarthy and the top of the receiving depth chart, the Boilermakers have plenty of depth. Names like Danny Anthrop, Shane Mikesky, Bilal Marshall and Dan Monteroso have emerged as potential role players at receiver. The unit has taken strides since the spring. "We're night and day from what we were back in the spring," Hazell said. Added Anthrop: "We've got a lot of talent; we just need to put it all together."

-- A player to watch is defensive end Jules Williams, who spent much of today working as the ‘Jack' linebacker in a 3-4 look. Said Hazell: "He's going to have a chance. He's a big athlete that can run and play in space. He'll have a chance."

-- The Boilermaker secondary may feature the least drama as far as competition goes. Ricardo Allen and Frankie Williams are in line to be the starters are cornerback while Taylor Richards and Landon Feichter will serve as safeties. Coach Jon Heacock is working to find his unit's depth beyond those starters.

-- Watching the defensive backs closely today and it's fun to watch how graduate assistant Logan Link has made an impact in his role. The former Boilermaker safety is a great teacher, often pulling aside players and explaining how a drill is done. Link should have a bright future as a coach.

The Boilermakers get back to work on Wednesday morning. Stay with Boiler Sports Report for continued coverage of Purdue football camp.

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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