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Osipoff: Darrell Hazell pleased with his first spring at Purdue

Purdue running back David Yancey goes through footwork drills during spring football practice inside Mollenkopf Athletic Center West Lafayette Tuesday

Purdue running back David Yancey goes through footwork drills during spring football practice inside the Mollenkopf Athletic Center, in West Lafayette, on Tuesday, March 26, 2013.

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Updated: May 12, 2013 2:14PM



Purdue’s first spring season under coach Darrell Hazell is winding down, with the concluding spring game coming up on Saturday, after this past Saturday’s “jersey” scrimmage (with the offense narrowly defeating the defense, on a touchdown pass from Austin Appleby to Sterling Carter on the final play).

“There was a lot of good work out there,” Hazell said after the scrimmage. “A lot of good hitting, guys running around, playing hard.

“There was a lot of good play, one of the better ones I’ve had. A lot of times, they start off a little sluggish, but we did a lot of nice things, on both sides of the ball.”

Here are some items of note as the Boilermakers head down the stretch of their final week of spring practice:

At the moment, it appears to be a two-man race at quarterback, with senior Rob Henry holding off freshman Danny Etling. Early enrollee Etling appears to have climbed over redshirt freshman Appleby on the depth chart. Appleby could yet play his way into consideration, but he has some catching up to do.

Henry continues to put himself in position to start in the fall, and certainly to head into the summer with the No. 1 label, at least. Always known as a superior athlete, he has shown improved passing ability.

Hazell has said it could be as late as two weeks before the Aug. 31 season opener at Cincinnati before a starter is announced.

Merrillville graduate Dolapo Macarthy continues to impress at wide receiver, remaining poised for a breakout season. The rest of the position could be up for grabs.

Akeem Hunt has been viewed as the front-runner to start at running back. But redshirt freshman Robert Gregory, a converted quarterback, played well in the scrimmage. And Lake Central grad David Yancey, another early enrollee, also should be in line for early playing time; among his array of attributes, he has drawn praise for his pass-catching skills out of the backfield, which will need to develop depth.

Paul Griggs and Sam McCartney continue to compete for the place-kicking job, with Griggs going 3-of-3 on field goals in the scrimmage.

Defensive tackle Bruce Gaston, who underwent offseason surgery on his left thumb, has been increasing his activity, including going full-bore in the scrimmage, after having been sidelined then limited earlier in the spring.

Among the players who didn’t participate in the scrimmage were cornerback Ricardo Allen (ankle), safety Landon Feichter (hand surgery), defensive end Greg Latta (foot) and fullback Kurt Freytag (hamstring). Fullback Brandon Cottom suffered an MCL injury to his right knee.

The spring game, with the black and gold teams determined by a draft conducted by the seniors on Wednesday, is scheduled to begin at noon (Central) Saturday, with the Ross-Ade Stadium gates opening an hour earlier. It is slated to consist of four quarters, with the possibility of a running clock in the second half, based on the number of plays run.

The game will be played rain or shine, although lightning would result in a delay or postponement, according to a news release. If it cannot be played at Ross-Ade, it will not be moved inside.



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