Boiler Players Report Today

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Some 105 Purdue football players are due to report to campus today for the start of training camp. Newcomers arrived between 10 and 11:30 a.m., with the returning players checking in between 2 and 5 p.m.

After lunch, the newcomers were divided into groups for physicals and equipment checkout. They will meet up with the returnees for dinner at 6 p.m., followed by a team meeting at 7.

The 2007 Boilermakers, under 11th-year head coach Joe Tiller, will practice for the first time Monday, with the veterans going from 9:30 to 11:40 a.m. and the newcomers from 10:50 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A total of 20 starters (nine offense, nine defense and two special teams) are back for Purdue, which went 8-6 last season, including 5-3 in the Big Ten for a fourth-place tie with Penn State. The Boilermakers made their ninth bowl appearance under Tiller, playing in the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

"We have a degree of optimism surrounding our program in the sense that we have the most starters back in our 10 years at Purdue," Tiller said. "We have a challenging schedule ahead of us, but I think our team is up to it. I think the one thing that's changed at Purdue is that our players have rededicated themselves to improving their strength and their size. I also think there is a sense of urgency amongst our players, so I'm anxious for us to get under way."

Media Day is scheduled for Thursday morning, and the first practice in full pads will be Friday afternoon. Training camp runs through Aug. 19, and fall semester classes begin the next day.

For the first time under Tiller, the Boilermakers will practice on the fields adjacent to the Mollenkopf Athletic Center and inside the Mollenkopf, instead of on the intramural fields on the west side of campus. All practices are closed to the public, with the media having some access.

The 105-player roster is made up of 19 offensive linemen, 18 defensive backs, 17 defensive linemen, 14 wide receivers, 12 linebackers, nine running backs, six tight ends, five quarterbacks, four kickers-punters and one long snapper. There are 12 fifth-year seniors.

"We have an experienced team, and we know what it takes to be successful," defensive end Cliff Avril said. "We need to work hard and listen to our coaches and, if we do that, we can have a great season."

The Boilermakers open the season Sept. 1 at Toledo, and the home opener is Sept. 8 vs. Eastern Illinois.

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