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Akeem Hunt Switches to Wide Receiver

Per recent reports heading into the weekend, it looks like Akeem Hunt will now be spending his senior season at wide receiver. Honestly I'm not to sure how I fill about that. First off, it could definitely be a good thing as it could mean Raheem Mostert is the real deal. If that's the case, however, why was Mostert rarely utilized on offense his first three seasons? Also, if John Shoop was going to continue to be selfish and send a 184 pound speedster up the gut with an inferior offensive line...well then get him out of that position as soon as you can. It does create the question of who else will emerge at running back to spell Mostert. One would imagine we'd see plenty of 260 pound Brandon Cottom until you realize the offense shied away from him most of last season. So there's the possibility of more David Yancey, redshirt freshman Keyante Green or maybe one of the new additions.

Of course that leads to the question of what will Hunt do on offense. He's only 5'9 and greatly undersized so you're limited with what he can run. He could line up in the slot and create a speed mismatch, especially if he draws linebackers and safeties, but one has to wonder how good his route running truly is. The ultimate reality is he'll be a likely option for screens, dump offs and quick slants...except we have a ton of speedsters in guys like B.J. Knauf and Danny Anthrop that can do that as well. It takes Hunt out of a possible two man running game and throws him in to a three man trio that will be splitting looks in the slot. Not entirely sure how much playing time this will lead to and it seems a bit brash right now. I can understand if they "want to get him on the field" and think Mostert is their guy, but simply converting him to a position with a bit of a log jam already probably isn't the quick fix solution to get him touches in 2014. 

Is There a Kicker Competition in West Lafayette?

For several seasons the Boilermakers had some stability at kicker thanks to the successful career of Carson Wiggs. Of course all of that came crashing down in 2012 as the graduation of Wiggs led to Danny Hope going back and forth between Paul Griggs and walk-on Sam McCartney. Griggs eventually won out the competition but was relatively lacking, hitting on 4 of his 7 field goal attempts and missing two of his 18 extra point attempts. The inconsistency shown by Griggs reared it's ugly head once again in 2013, only hitting 50% of his 12 field goals and missing an extra point even with only 22 attempts.

The issue with Griggs has always been inconsistency. As if his inability to consistently hit field goals during gameday wasn't troubling enough, it's something commonly seen in practice as well. The reality is Griggs has a pretty strong leg and can hit from beyond 50 yards, giving him a big leg up on most of the other guys that have tried to steal the position away from him. The problem is until Griggs can hit at a consistent rate he's nothing but a liability for a team that needs to not squander scoring opportunities.

The turmoil at kicker will mean walk-on senior transfer Ian MacDougall will have a shot for the starting role. MacDougall's career at Wabash definitely didn't start off pretty thanks to hitting only 70 of his 82 extra points in his first two seasons, while only hitting on 11 of 21 field goal attempts. He did manage to play better in 2013, though, converting on 15 of his 17 kicks, with a long of 45 yards. 

So where does that leave us? Well it looks like Griggs and MacDougall have been rotating throughout fall camp and getting equal amounts of reps. While Griggs has been the starter the last two seasons he'll have to earn the spot if he wants to keep it for another year. Ultimately I have a feeling Griggs will either hold on or this could be a 'Griggs vs. McCartney' round two, but I'm sure that'll be decided by the end of the month. 

Punter Joe Schopper Commits to Purdue

Purdue picked up a commitment today from Indiana native Joe Schopper, a two star (per Rivals) punter from Indianapolis. Schopper was recently offer a scholarship by Purdue, likely a response to the sudden departure of punter Austin McGehee. 

"They have everything that I want in a school and football program. I really like the way things are run with the coaching staff and the team as a whole," mentioned Schopper. Besides an offer from Purdue Schopper also had preferred walk-on spots available at Texas and Minnesota had he chosen to go that route. Ultimately the ability for Schopper to pickup a scholarship offer, not always common for punters, was what likely swayed him to committing to Purdue. 

Highlights can be seen below:

Frankie Williams Getting Looks at Safety

So in somewhat interesting news corner Frankie Williams was seeing reps this week at safety instead of corner, where he figured to be the #1 option there. One has to wonder if the decision stems from Taylor Richards two game suspension or if the team feels like Williams may be more viable further back. The reality is Purdue's safety play has been inept and the other three options at safety include Richards, Landon Feichter and Anthony Brown.

Richards, as long as he's in good standing, should hold onto the starting spot and be a passable option. Past him though there's plenty of question marks. While fans have taken a liking to former walk-on Landon Feichter, the reality is his coverage skills are below average at best and his ability to play safety against opposing Big Ten offenses is suspect at best. Anthony Brown, who brings considerably more athleticism to the table, has struggled so far in his career at Purdue and has struggled even more with picking up coverage from the safety spot.

Brown has been seeing some looks at corner so far in camp and if he ends up there it could make sense as it would allow him to utilize his athleticism more and cut down on issues with reads and dealing with zone coverage. 

Antoine Lewis, a senior, has been getting some first team reps as well so far in camp. When everything is said and done it'll be interesting to see if they keep Williams at safety or slide him back up to corner. If Williams remains at safety it means the safety unit could be anchored by Williams and Richards, with Brown and Lewis at corner. That of course would leave Feichter the odd man out. While I'm not entirely sold on him, the reality is these five guys are the best current options for Purdue and I don't see Feichter as a strong option at nickle. So if Williams stays at safety I imagine it'll mean Richards will have to be the de facto nickelback when everything is said and done.