Notes: Strap it up

The Boilermakers strapped on full pads for the first time in camp. Boiler Sports Report offers the details from the sidelines.

-- It felt a little bit more like football at Purdue camp on Wednesday. For the first time this summer, the Boilermakers donned full pads. It's finally time to hit somebody.

-- With the full pads on, the Boilermakers got physical in practice. "Good energy right now for practice No. 5," said coach Darrell Hazell. "We've got to keep getting better."

-- One of the most intense drills came during individual periods, when the running backs and linebackers squared off in one-on-one drills with the backs trying to beat the defenders. Bruising tailback Brandon Cottom was a standout in that drill.

-- Later in practice, Purdue simulated goal-line scenarios with three linemen on offense and defense squaring off and trying to stop the running back. The offense had its way in this drill, with Akeem Hunt showing his knack for finding the hole.

-- Much of the spotlight was on the defensive line today, a unit Hazell calls one of "the most talented group on the football team." Senior defensive end Greg Latta—now healthy after missing time in the spring—has been a standout of camp so far. Coach Ruben Carter pulled Latta aside before the start of camp and offered a message. "People don't know you," Carter said, "but make sure they remember you after this season." Latta is following through.

-- I asked Coach Carter what he wants the identity of his defensive line to be. "Physical," he said. "Very physical. Intense. … It's an attitude position. They have to be a homesteader. They have to believe that this is my territory. Nobody's coming in here. If you come in here, you're going to pay the price."

-- Fifth-year senior Rob Henry took the first snap of the day, marking the third consecutive practice this has happened. Again, Darrell Hazell said not to read into this too far. Hazell did say, "Rob has done an excellent job."

-- The Boilermakers were a bit sloppy during one-against-ones drills at the end of practice. It started with a 40-yard dump-off from Rob Henry to Akeem Hunt. After that, the offense struggled to move the football. Quarterback Austin Appleby later stepped in and completed a few passes, but he would scuffle a bit, too.

-- The biggest issue for Purdue today was with pre-snap penalties. During one sequence of practice, there was a false start of offsides called on four of five plays. "It's a matter of concentration," Hazell said.

-- Senior tight end Gabe Holmes sat out of practice today after tweaking his hamstring on Tuesday. This is more of a precautionary measure. In his place, Justin Sinz and Patrick Bade have seen playing time.

Let's play two! The Boilermakers put in a pair of workouts on Thursday for their first two-a-day session. Boiler Sports Report will have coverage of both practices.

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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