Ground Breaking Ceremony

This Friday afternoon the ground breaking ceremony for the new football facility was held. Many famous Purdue alumni were in attendance such as Drew Brees, Ryan Kerrigan, Bob Griese, and Keena Turner just to name a few. Before the event started there was a meal that was shared between the Boilermakers of the past and the  Boilermakers of the present. The ground breaking ceremony was used for more than just celebrating the new facility it was used for all Boilermakers to get together and hold conversations and tell stories of the past.

“Talking to people who have literally done it all like Drew Brees is pretty cool,” said Purdue Linebacker Sawyer Dawson. “Because he is a constant reminder of how great being a Boilermaker is.”

As a player talking to some of these legends is really fantastic because its just such an honor to pick these peoples brain when it comes to football. Learning all of the tricks of the trade to improve ones game from Purdue legends who have been successful at the college level is truly special. After so many years seeing and talking to all these famous Boilermakers one starts to really understand the brotherhood that we all share.

After the meal was over and all the stories were shared Morgan Burke showed everyone the design for the new facility. After doing so Mr. Burke then proceeded to show the audience that the total budget of $65,000,000 that the athletic program has been trying to raise for years has finally been met. After announcing the great news he announced that they will start construction on the new facility in the very near future. To symbolize the start of the construction Morgan Burke and others then used shovels to dig up grass.

 

 

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Ground Breaking Ceremony

Interview training

Just like with football the athletes have to practice talking to the media. Talking to the media in the correct manor is important in college football today, because now there are blogs that keep up with every word a player says during an interview. For this reason programs including Purdue make sure that athletes are trained to say the right thing to the right people, because if a player slips up and says the wrong thing it could give the program unwanted attention.

At Purdue in the beginning of the fall camp the football office holds training sessions after every practice. They select who will go through this training by players year in college, for example seniors will go first in the week then juniors will go second and so on and so forth. This process continues until the first game of the season. During these training sessions they have our media relations representative Matt Rector take us through a practice interview. After the practice interview is over Mr.Rector tells us what the appropriate responses are and what he would of said in response to a certain question. The one thing Mr.Rector stresses to us is that we as players have the right to state to the media that we do not feel comfortable with answering a certain question.

“Knowing what to say is just as important as knowing what route to run to get a first down or a touchdown,” said Associate Athletics Communications Director Matt Rector. “Because what a player says during an interview can have a positive or negative affect on the program.

Interview training

Purdue training table

After a long day of meetings and workouts the Purdue players are then treated to a team dinner. This team dinner is known to the players as training table. Training table is held in the All- American Dining Court Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. and it is a mandatory meal for all scholarship athletes. The athletes who are not on scholarship however are not permitted to go to training table like the scholarship athletes.

At training table the menu changes everyday so the players will not eventually get tired of eating the food. The meal is placed right after team activities because the football office wants to make sure everyone goes and eats. The food they provide for us taste delicious and it us healthy for us because the football office also wants to make sure that we are fueling our bodies with the proper nutrients. In training table there are three separate bars for the athletes one bar is for weight gain guys, the other is for athletes trying to maintain weight, and the other bar is for the guys who are trying to lose weight.

“Training table is my favorite part of the day because the food they have for us such as steak and crab legs is so good,” said offensive tackle Johnny Daniels. ” I also like training table because it allows us to eat together as a team.

Training table is used for more than just eating food it is used so the players can build chemistry. Eating food together brings people together in weird ways that one would not think imaginable. At training table long lasting friendships are built through the sharing of funny stories and the sharing of company and food.

 

Purdue training table

Game day through a players experience

Saturday game days are the best days of the week during the fall football season. Everything we do up until the game is timed out perfectly absolutely no time is wasted on game days. Depending on the time of the game the schedule can be changed but the most frequent time we play at during Saturdays is at noon.

The day for us players starts at 7:30 a.m. with a steak and egg breakfast. After breakfast ends at 8:30 a.m. we are given an hour to iron our suits and our pants for the 211 session in Mackey Arena which is a pep rally that the fans hold for the football team. After the hour is up at 9:30 we break up into position groups and go over the game plan one last time before we take the bus for Mackey at 10:30. After the 211 session ends for us at around 11:00 a.m. we head to the team locker room to get dressed and ready for the game.

After we are dressed we then head over at 11:20 to the game day locker room which is at Ross-Ade stadium. While we are at the locker room we get individually stretched by the strength and conditioning staff and we take supplements such as Spark to get our bodies ready for the game.

“Getting stretched is my favorite part of game day because it helps to get all the tightness you have accumulated in your muscles from the whole week of practice before the game starts,” said Purdue safety Leroy Clark.

At 11:35 a.m. we then take the field as a team and perform our team warm up which takes a total of 15 minutes at best. After we are done with the warm up we head to the locker room at 11:50 a.m. to get a quick team prayer in before we take the field at 11:55 a.m. When that time hits we run out to the field to thousands of fans and fireworks.

“Every time I run through the smoke man it’s something special once you feel the cold air hit your face you know for sure that it’s time to strap up and play some ball,” said Purdue long snapper John Vargyas.

As a player my favorite part of game day is after we win and we sing the Hail Purdue song. Every time I hear that song being sung I know that we have made all the Boilermakers around the country and also around the world proud.

 

 

Game day through a players experience

After football

With a beginning there always eventually comes and end, for that reason the Purdue football office makes sure that we are prepared for when that time comes. As a player you never want to think about doing anything else besides playing football in the future, however we still have to prepare to be efficient U.S. citizens after football. The football office does many things for us to prep for our future they have professionals come in and help us build our resume, and they also have former Purdue Alumni come in who own businesses to teach us about what people look for when they look to hire someone for a job. The football office even goes far enough to have us rehearse job interviews with employers.

“The tools they provide us is amazing ,” said Purdue defensive end Evan Panfil. “What they provide for us makes me feel confident in my future.”

The other things they provide for us is practice on how to manage our budget for a whole year. Practicing managing a budget helps us learn how to save money and do taxes the right way. The football office pretty much makes sure that when we do earn a considerate amount of money that we don’t blow it.

“Money management is the most important thing they teach us in my eyes,” said Purdue safety Leroy Clark.” Because there is to many time you hear about athletes going broke after they are done with football.

As a player doing all this practice for your career after football is over is extremely boring and time consuming. Still it is something that we as players need to learn and we fully embrace it.The football office does so much for us and we love them for everything they do and provide for us.

 

After football

Winter Conditioning

Every year before football starts in the spring Purdue football goes through winter workouts. After winter workouts is over a week before spring football starts the Boilers have to face winter conditioning. Winter conditioning has another name which the players have given it which is concourse. Concourse is a players least favorite part of every year, because the players know that it is designed to wear one down mentally and physically. 

“After the season is over the first thing I start doing is count down the days to concourse,” said defensive tackle for Purdue Johnny Daniels.

During concourse the coaches put the players through any type of drill work that they can come up with on the top of their head. Concourse involves five stations and at each station you spend five minutes at each station competing against who you are matched up with for the day. The scores are kept by the graduate assistants and the whole day is recorded with five cameras  so each station can be seen and evaluated at all times. The purpose of concourse is to find out who on the team is willing to push through pain and adversity to win, it is also used to evaluate a players movement, strength, speed, and agility. After all the drill work is completed the team then has to go in and complete a whole other workout which involves lifting.  Did I mention that all this starts at the crack of dawn at 6 a.m.

As a player I can vouch and say that concourse is absolutely the hardest thing I have to do every year and it is something I never look forward to doing. Even though concourse is used as condition for spring ball it also serves a higher purpose that purpose that I am referring too is the purpose of acceptance. You are not truly a part of the football team until you have faced and overcome the animal known as concourse. To the players completing concourse is a right of acceptance or initiation if you will.

After concourse is over the players share their individual concourse stories throughout the whole year until the next concourse. This brings us closer together as a team because it allows are past hardships to become comical stories which in turn brings us together as a family.

“I love being done with concourse because then that is when all the funny stories start coming out during team dinners,” said Purdue safety Leroy Clark. ” Like the story Trevor Foy told us about when he collapsed because he was so tired and yelled out that he was having a heart attack to Coach Hazell.”

 

 

Winter Conditioning

Purdue 2013-2015 seasons

Through the years of 2013-2015 the Boilermakers have faced a rough spot in their programs history. Throughout these seasons the Boilers have gone six and 29 and have only won two Big Ten games which were against Illinois and Nebraska.Many attribute the lack of success to poor coaching or poor development in game plans for upcoming games. The real issue for Boilermaker football that people over look or are to shy to say out loud is honestly the players.

The reason I say this is because we truly are not a well oiled machine. One half of a game we will look like a totally different team  and look like contenders  for the Big Ten championship, however in the next half we collapse and fall behind in the game. Learning to be consistent everyday is the real challenge for the team because the best teams and players in the nation are not the most athletic, they are in fact the most consistent and well disciplined.

“We have a very talented team its unbelievable how talented we are the problem that we face is playing inconsistent, a football game can’t be the tale of two halfs,” said head coach for Purdue football Darrell Hazell.

There is a phrase in football that all players know which states that coaches don’t win games because the coaches can only do so much. This phrase highlights the fact that at the end of the day the players have to play the game without the help of their coaches.

” Football is not a coaches game it is a players game and I think we need to stop leaning on them and just go out and play to the best of our ability,” said Purdue safety Robert Gregory.

Luckily for Purdue football we are starting to get away from leaning on our coaches for everything. Now we are coaching ourselves through film study and through workouts, until we get out on the field in a week and a half for spring ball we will truly not see the fruits of our labor, but for now the players are moving in the right direction to be successful this fall.

Purdue 2013-2015 seasons