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August 3, 2006

Training Camp Preview: The tight ends

Today, GoldandBlack.com continues its in-depth, position-by-position look at the 2006 Boilermaker football team heading into training camp. The Boilers are scheduled to report to campus for preseason practice on Aug. 6.

For the best preseason Purdue football coverage available anywhere, sign up for GoldandBlack.com's Ultimate Ticket .

With a receiving threat like Dustin Keller now stepping into a front-line, Purdue will want to get the ball to its tight end(s) this season.

Key Players

Dustin Keller: The explosive junior's health and productivity might be the difference between a good Purdue offense and a great Purdue offense. At 6-foot-4, 244 pounds, Keller is faster than many receivers and stronger than many linemen, and a tremendous overall athlete.

If healthy, he should be a nightmare matchup for any linebacker and a big-play threat in the Boilermaker offense.

Impact Newcomers

Alec Huber: Calling Huber an "impact" player might be a reach, as Purdue is well stocked in the two-deep at tight end, with Keller and solid backup Jerry Wasikowski. But Huber impressed during his redshirt year and could get a chance to contribute.

X Factor

Garret Bushong: The junior has not yet been able to carve his niche within the offense, but Coach Joe Tiller commented earlier in the week that the former blue-chip recruit might have a chance to contribute this season, now that he's apparently gotten past some back problems.

Bushong was moved to wide receiver in the spring, but injury cost him the chance to experiment and he was subsequently moved back to tight end.

Best Competition: Wasikowski isn't spectacular by any stretch of the imagination, but rock-solid and reliable.

Lowdown: This position's all about Keller. Perhaps no player - save for QB Curtis Painter - has the greatest potential impact - positive or negative - on the offense.

The Roster Rundown

• Kyle Adams - 6-5, 245, Fr.
• Garret Bushong - 6-5, 247, Jr.
• Alec Huber - 6-5, 240, Fr.
• Dustin Keller - 6-4, 244, Jr.
• Jerry Wasikowski - 6-4, 253, So.

Previous Position Previews:

Offense
The quarterbacks
The wide receivers
The running backs

Defense
The linebackers
The defensive tackles
The defensive ends
The safeties
The cornerbacks

For the best preseason Purdue football coverage available anywhere, sign up for GoldandBlack.com's Ultimate Ticket .




Copyright, Boilers, Inc. 2006. All Rights Reserved. Reproducing or using editorial or graphical content, in whole or in part, without permission, is strictly prohibited. E-mail GoldandBlack.com/Boilers, Inc.


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