NCF Nation: Tyler Replogle

Spring practice is creeping closer, and Purdue will hit the field in less than two weeks (March 1 to be exact) for the first of its 15 workouts.

Here's a snapshot of what to expect in the Leaders Division this spring.

ILLINOIS

Spring practice starts: March 29
Spring game: April 23

What to watch:
  • New look at linebacker: Illinois loses first-team All-Big Ten selection Martez Wilson as well as playmaker Nate Bussey. They combined for 195 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, two interceptions and four fumble recoveries. The Illini need a middle linebacker and could turn to productive senior Ian Thomas or promising sophomore Jonathan Brown. Illinois also is replacing linebackers coach Dan Disch.
  • Ford tough: All-American running back Mikel Leshoure departs, turning the spotlight to Jason Ford. At 235 pounds, Ford is a true power back who will give the Illinois offense a slightly different look in 2011. The Illini also want to build depth at running back with players like Troy Pollard.
  • Replacing Liuget: Illinois begins the difficult task of replacing the Big Ten's most disruptive interior defensive lineman in Corey Liuget, a likely first-round draft pick in April. Akeem Spence had a very solid redshirt freshman season and will take on a larger role, but Illinois must build around him with Glenn Foster and others. This is a major priority for defensive coordinator Vic Koenning and line coach Keith Gilmore this spring.
INDIANA

Start of spring practice: March 8
Spring game: April 16
End of spring practice: April 19

What to watch:
  • Culture change: Kevin Wilson has talked extensively about changing the culture around the Indiana program, and the process begins in full force this spring. Players will have to adjust to the demands of Wilson and his staff, which still isn't in place but soon will be. There will be plenty of teaching and learning, as players must absorb Wilson's offense and a 4-3 defensive scheme (IU operated out of the 3-4 for part of last season).
  • Quarterback competition: Three-year starter Ben Chappell departs, and there's no clear-cut successor entering spring practice. Both Dusty Kiel and Edward Wright-Baker played sparingly in five games last season, and they bring different skills to the table. It'll be interesting to see who emerges under center this spring before acclaimed recruit Tre Roberson arrives for fall camp.
  • Identify defensive contributors: Indiana can't expect to get over the hump until it upgrades the defense, and co-coordinators Mike Ekeler and Doug Mallory begin a crucial evaluation process this spring. The Hoosiers need to build depth and identify Big Ten-ready players throughout the defense, particularly in the back seven after losing standout linebacker Tyler Replogle and others.
OHIO STATE

Start of spring practice: March 31
Spring game: April 23
  • Suspension preparation: Ohio State knows it will be without four offensive starters and a key defensive reserve for the first chunk of the 2011 season. This spring, the Buckeyes start the process of evaluating who will step in, especially at the quarterback spot for Terrelle Pryor. Joe Bauserman holds an edge in experience (though little has come in games), and he'll compete with Kenny Guiton and heralded incoming freshman Braxton Miller.
  • Receiving orders for Drayton: Stan Drayton left Florida for Ohio State primarily to expand his coaching repertoire and oversee a new position group. The career running backs coach will work with a mostly unproven group of Ohio State wide receivers this spring. Ohio State must replace All-Big Ten standout Dane Sanzenbacher, and DeVier Posey is among those suspended for the first part of the season. Says Drayton of his receivers, "Personnel wise, they're in competition with the whole offensive unit."
  • Up-the-middle defensive replacements: Excuse the baseball reference, but Ohio State loses several standout players in the core of its defense: linemen Cameron Heyward and Dexter Larimore, linebackers Brian Rolle and Ross Homan, and safety Jermale Hines. Although the Buckeyes always find ways to reload on defense, it will be interesting to see who emerges this spring, especially at linebacker.
PENN STATE

Start of spring practice: March 18
Spring game: April 16

What to watch:
  • The quarterbacks, especially Rob Bolden: Penn State's quarterback competition should be wide open this spring, and it might be the most fascinating race in the Big Ten. You've got sophomore Rob Bolden, who asked for his release after the Gator Bowl but didn't get it from Joe Paterno, and has returned to compete for a job he thought he never should have lost. Junior Matt McGloin tries to redeem himself after the bowl disaster, and Paul Jones and Kevin Newsome also are in the mix.
  • Line play on both sides: The Lions boast enough at the skill positions on both sides of the ball to be a much improved team in 2011. But they have to get better and more consistent on both lines. The offensive line must replace standout Stefen Wisniewski and find the form it displayed in 2008. The defensive line tries to regain its swagger after backsliding in 2010, and identify a pass-rushing threat or two.
  • Kicking it: Collin Wagner was Penn State's top offensive weapon for much of the 2010 season, but the standout kicker departs the program, leaving a void. Punter Anthony Fera likely will handle the bulk of the kicking duties this spring until incoming freshman Sam Ficken arrives.
PURDUE

Start of spring practice: March 2
Spring game: April 9

What to watch:
  • Replacing Superman: Purdue returns nine defensive starters, but the Boilers lose Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Ryan Kerrigan. The Boilers were the league's top pass-rushing team in 2010, but Kerrigan's production and presence played huge roles in the overall sacks and tackles for loss totals. The entire defensive line took a step forward last fall, and will need to do so again without No. 94.
  • The quarterbacks: Robert Marve is still recovering from his second ACL tear, so Rob Henry, Caleb TerBush and Sean Robinson will be in the spotlight this spring. Henry showed promise when healthy in 2010, and TerBush had a strong spring a year ago before being ruled academically ineligible for the season. The quarterback race won't be decided until the summer, but all the candidates can help themselves in spring ball.
  • The offensive identity: A wave of injuries forced Purdue to overhaul its plan on offense in 2010. Although several key players will be out or limited this spring, the Boilers can start to reshape their plan on offense. Coach Danny Hope is optimistic Marve and the others return at full strength, but he doesn't want to take anything for granted. This is a huge spring for players a notch or two down the depth chart to get noticed.
WISCONSIN

Start of spring practice: March 22
Spring game: April 23

What to watch:
  • Finding Tolzien's successor: After a one-year respite, Wisconsin's annual spring quarterback competition resumes. Sort of. Jon Budmayr will have every opportunity to establish himself as the Badgers' top option before Curt Phillips (knee) returns to full strength. Budmayr turned heads with his performance two springs ago, but played sparingly last season behind Scott Tolzien.
  • New leadership on defense: Charlie Partridge and Chris Ash are familiar faces who step into new roles this spring. Partridge and Ash were promoted to co-defensive coordinators following Dave Doeren's departure, and they'll get their first opportunity to shape the defensive vision this spring.
  • Reloading on the lines: Wisconsin loses three All-American linemen from 2010: Gabe Carimi and John Moffitt on the offensive side, and J.J. Watt at defensive end. Although the Badgers must replace more bodies on the offensive front, they boast excellent depth there and should be able to fill the gaps. Watt leaves a bigger void, and Wisconsin needs strong springs from players like Louis Nzegwu and David Gilbert.

What to watch in the Big Ten: Week 13

November, 24, 2010
11/24/10
10:15
AM ET
It's rivalry week in the Big Ten, and here are 10 things to watch on Saturday.

1. Title talk: Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan State all can claim at least a share of the Big Ten title by winning on Saturday. The Badgers are primarily rooting for a Michigan State loss, although if all three teams win, Wisconsin likely heads to Pasadena because of its higher place in the BCS standings. Michigan State is pulling for hated rival Michigan to upset Ohio State, while the Buckeyes want Northwestern to shock Wisconsin in Madison. Should be an interesting day of scoreboard watching around the league.

[+] EnlargeWisconsin running back Montee Ball
Rick Osentoski/US PRESSWIREMontee Ball and Wisconsin could be heading to the Rose Bowl with a win over Northwestern this weekend.
2. Penn State looks toward the future: Joe Paterno said this week that he'll return in 2011 for his 46th season as Penn State's head coach. Paterno cited having a young team with the potential to get better. Well, Saturday provides the Nittany Lions with the chance to take a big step forward. Penn State has struggled mightily against ranked teams this season, falling by more than 20 points to Alabama, Iowa and Ohio State. A win against No. 10 Michigan State would give Penn State wins in five of its final six regular-season games and raise the bar for next fall.

3. Lynch's last stand: Indiana doesn't want to fire Bill Lynch, but it might have to if the coach goes winless in Big Ten play in his fourth season at the helm. Lynch can avoid such a fate and improve his cause by beating archrival Purdue in West Lafayette. The Hoosiers players are in Lynch's corner, as linebacker Tyler Replogle said this week: "We've been trying to win for Coach Lynch all year." After so many near misses, the Hoosiers need to show that they can get over the hump in a Big Ten game.

4. Robinson vs. Pryor: The Big Ten's two most recognizable players meet Saturday at The Horseshoe, and the league's Offensive Player of the Year Award could be at stake. Robinson has broken records and put up some incredible numbers, but he's still looking for a signature win. Beating No. 10 Ohio State certainly would qualify. Pryor boasts a 29-4 record as Ohio State's starting quarterback and came up big in the clutch last week at Iowa. Both signal callers have significantly improved their passing numbers this season, but both remain threats to run.

5. Getting piggy wit it: Sorry, couldn't resist. The Floyd of Rosedale is at stake Saturday when Minnesota and No. 24 Iowa meet at TCF Bank Stadium. The Hawkeyes need to finish strong after back-to-back heartbreaking losses, and they've taken their anger out on Minnesota in recent years. The Gophers saw coach Tim Brewster fired midseason for, among other things, not winning enough rivalry trophies. Bringing the pig back to Minneapolis in a huge upset would help Minnesota end a disappointing season on a very good note.

6. Wildcats try to rebound against three-headed monster: Northwestern's defense got absolutely shredded for 519 rush yards against Illinois last week at Wrigley Field. It's not the type of performance the Wildcats needed before a game against an even better ground attack in Wisconsin. The Badgers called 28 consecutive run plays last week against Michigan and have been dominant on offense during Big Ten play. John Clay could return to join sophomore Montee Ball and freshman James White, forming a fearsome three-headed monster in the backfield.

7. Kirk Cousins' health: The Michigan State quarterback hasn't looked like himself for a few weeks, and there are reasons why. He has been dealing with a sprained ankle since an Oct. 16 game against Illinois and a sprained shoulder for just about as long. Like his team, Cousins has shown resiliency to play through the pain, and he scored the game-winning touchdown last week against Purdue. But he also reaggravated his injuries in the game. Cousins is never one to complain and will try to lead Michigan State to its first Big Ten title in 20 years Saturday, but will his body hold up in Happy Valley?

8. Greg Robinson's stuffed animal: Robinson is trying just about anything to help Michigan's poor defense, apparently even a stuffed animal. The Wolverines defensive coordinator was seen rubbing the stuffed animal on the neck of linebacker Kenny Demens in last week's game against Wisconsin. I'd prefer to see Jobu show up on the Michigan sideline this week. Then again, it might take more than gimmicks to help this unit become respectable.

9. Gophers try to end scoreless streak: Minnesota has been shut out in its previous two meetings with Iowa, a scoreless streak Hawkeyes' fans never hesitate to point out (pun intended). The Gophers haven't exactly been dynamic on offense this season, but they put up 38 points two weeks ago against Illinois to record their first conference win of the season. Senior quarterback Adam Weber hopes to end an up-and-down career on a strong note against an Iowa defense looking to start strong and finish stronger after blowing fourth-quarter leads in consecutive games.

10. Endgame for Kerrigan: Purdue isn't going bowling, so Saturday marks the final chance for Boilers fans to salute star defensive end Ryan Kerrigan. Former defensive tackle Jeff Zgonina is the only Purdue player to win Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors, taking home the award in 1993. Kerrigan soon should add his name to the list, and he tries to go 3-1 against Indiana in his career.
The first Big Ten night game is in the books, and here are some quick thoughts:

Indiana 35, Akron 20: We won't get a true gauge on Indiana until Michigan visits Bloomington next week, but this much is clear: quarterback Ben Chappell and his receivers/tight ends are playing at an extremely high level. Chappell turned in another tremendous performance against Akron, completing 22 of 33 passes for 342 yards and four touchdowns. He got plenty of help from Terrance Turner (6 catches, 121 yards, 1 TD) and the other receivers, as well as tight ends Ted Bolser and Max Dedmond, who combined for three touchdown receptions.

Indiana also did a better job of establishing Darius Willis and the rushing attack in the second half. I'm still very concerned about a Hoosiers defense that surrendered 20 points and 160 rushing yards. IU missed senior linebacker Tyler Replogle (concussion), who might be back next week, but the Hoosiers have to tighten things up against Denard Robinson and the Wolverines' offense.
The Big Ten is still perfect in 2010. All three teams in action Thursday night came out victorious. You've already seen my thoughts on Ohio State-Marshall.

Let's take a look at the other two games:

Minnesota 24, Middle Tennessee 17: It wasn't a masterpiece, but Minnesota took a big step toward establishing its offensive identity. Coach Tim Brewster has talked about "pound the rock" for a while, but until Thursday night, the Gophers hadn't been that power-run, clock-killing offense. They achieved both of those goals in a big way at Middle Tennessee, rushing for 281 yards and holding the ball for 45:34. That's exactly what new offensive coordinator Jeff Horton wants to do with this unit. Running back Duane Bennett had a huge night (30 carries, 187 yards), and I couldn't be happier for fullback Jon Hoese, who scored all three Minnesota touchdowns, including the game-winner in the fourth quarter. Hoese nearly didn't make the trip after his father suffered a severe stroke this week. He ends up playing, scoring three touchdowns and recovering a fumble on a kickoff return. He'll be getting a helmet sticker Saturday night. Minnesota's defense looked shaky at times in the middle quarters but did enough to win, and senior quarterback Adam Weber completed 10 of 17 passes. Most important, Minnesota played a more disciplined game, committing no turnovers and had just four penalties. The Gophers had to take advantage of Middle Tennessee without Dwight Dasher, and they did with a second-half rally.

Indiana 51, Towson 17: Tandon Doss' absence clearly didn't slow down the Indiana offense, which surged both through the air and, more importantly, on the ground. As I expected, Damarlo Belcher picked up the slack for the injured Doss and came up big with eight receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown. Ben Chappell did what senior quarterbacks are supposed to do against poor FCS teams and delivered an efficient performance (17-for-24 passing, 186 yards, 2 touchdowns). But the big story was Willis and the run game. Coach Bill Lynch introduced the pistol formation to spark the rushing attack, but Indiana has been inconsistent and Willis has struggled to stay healthy. The junior back looked great Thursday with 102 rush yards and two touchdowns on only 13 carries. Linebacker Tyler Replogle led the defense, and two defensive backs who used to play receiver, Mitchell Evans and Matt Ernest, both recorded interceptions. Indiana has to capitalize on a very soft nonconference slate, and Thursday night was the first step.
Welcome to National Depth Chart Day. No day on the college football calendar inspires more curiosity about depth charts than the Monday before the season, when most teams release their Week 1 two-deeps.

(And then there's Purdue, which didn't include a depth chart in its game notes for Notre Dame. Ugh.)

I've had the chance to review depth charts from those programs that released them today -- two-deeps from Illinois, Michigan State and Minnesota are coming soon -- and I checked in on several coaches' news conferences.

Here's what stood out:

INDIANA
  • Even though Indiana will shift to a 3-4 defensive alignment this year, the depth chart lists a 4-3 with Darius Johnson and Fred Jones as the starting ends and Chad Sherer and Tyler Replogle flanking junior college transfer Jeff Thomas at linebacker.
  • Interesting to see several veteran offensive linemen like Justin Pagan and Cody Faulkner listed as backups rather than starters. Junior Andrew McDonald steps into some big shoes at left tackle as Rodger Saffold departs to the NFL.
  • The backup quarterback job remains open, as Dusty Kiel and Edward Wright-Baker are both listed as No. 2 behind Ben Chappell.
  • Indiana expects big things from redshirt freshman Duwyce Wilson, listed as a starter at wide receiver, kick returner and punt returner.
IOWA
  • Sophomores Micah Hyde and Greg Castillo are listed as the starting cornerbacks. Shaun Prater doesn't appear on the depth chart after dealing with a leg injury in camp. Prater hasn't been officially ruled out for the Eastern Illinois game, but I wouldn't expect to see much of him on Saturday.
  • James Ferentz is listed as the starting center, a spot where Iowa might be a little thin following Josh Koeppel's motorcycle accident Monday morning.
  • Starting defensive end Broderick Binns is suspended for the opener, so Christian Ballard is listed as a possible starter at both end and tackle. Mike Daniels and Lebron Daniel are the next options behind Ballard.
MICHIGAN
  • Sophomores Denard Robinson and Tate Forcier and freshman Devin Gardner are listed as co-starters at quarterback. Head coach Rich Rodriguez reiterated Monday that Gardner won't redshirt this fall.
  • Vincent Smith and Michael Shaw are listed as co-starters at running back, with Michael Cox behind them.
  • True freshman Carvin Johnson is listed as the starter at the spur position (safety/linebacker). Pretty big surprise here, and a testament to Johnson's work in camp.
  • Senior James Rogers steps into Troy Woolfolk's starting cornerback spot opposite J.T. Floyd.
  • Receivers Martavious Odoms and Kelvin Grady clearly showed enough in camp to be listed as starters or possible starters against Connecticut.
NORTHWESTERN
  • Sophomore running back Arby Fields returned to practice Monday and wore a no-contact jersey after being sidelined with a shoulder problem. He's listed as a co-starter at running back with Jacob Schmidt and Stephen Simmons. Northwestern wanted a clear No. 1 running back to emerge in camp, but Fields' injury changed the plan.
  • Junior Bryce McNaul is listed as the third top linebacker alongside returning starters Quentin Davie and Nate Williams. McNaul won the job in camp.
  • Venric Mark is the only true freshman listed on the depth chart, both as a backup wide receiver and a co-starter at punt returner. I'll go out on a huge limb (sarcasm) and predict Mark will be the man on returns for the Wildcats very shortly.
OHIO STATE
  • Junior defensive end Nathan Williams, a projected starter, will miss the Marshall game with a knee injury. He should be back shortly thereafter. Solomon Thomas will start in Williams' spot Thursday night.
  • Starting cornerback Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring) is questionable for the Marshall game, but corner Devon Torrence (hamstring) should be fine.
  • Sophomore C.J. Barnett's strong performance in camp lifted him ahead of Orhian Johnson on the Week 1 depth chart. Johnson missed a chunk of camp with an injury.
  • Start salivating, Buckeyes fans, because running backs Jordan Hall and Jaamal Berry likely will handle kickoff returns against Marshall.
PENN STATE
  • Sophomores Kevin Newsome and Matt McGloin and freshman Robert Bolden are listed as co-starters at quarterback for the Youngstown State game.
  • Sophomore Devon Smith's strong camp landed him a starting spot at both receiver and kick returner, and a backup role on punt returns.
  • Redshirt freshman Garry Gilliam is listed as the starting tight end, as Andrew Szczerba likely will miss the opener with a back injury. Penn State obviously is thin here after losing Andrew Quarless and Mickey Shuler.
  • Veterans Nate Stupar, Chris Colasanti and Bani Gbadyu are listed as the starting linebackers, with promising younger players like Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges right behind them.
WISCONSIN
  • After a very impressive camp, freshman running back James White appears at No. 3 on the depth chart behind both John Clay and Montee Ball. White also is the No. 2 punt returner behind David Gilreath. His emergence likely will result in veteran Zach Brown redshirting the season.
  • Senior Blake Sorensen likely will start at outside linebacker, as Mike Taylor continues to rehab after undergoing a second procedure on his knee in camp. Culmer St. Jean and Chris Borland are listed as the other starting linebackers.
  • The starting cornerback spots remain open, as Niles Brinkley, Antonio Fenelus and Devin Smith will compete in practice this week.
You asked (nicely) for it, and this time, you get what you want.

Remember colleague Bruce Feldman's annual "Freaks" list, which examined the top workout warriors in college football Insider for 2010? Ohio State sophomore defender John "Sandman" Simon made the rundown, along with other weight-room stars from around the country.

Several of you loved Feldman's list so much that you wanted me to create a similar one just for the Big Ten. Thanks to help from sports information staffers and strength coaches from around the conference, I've compiled the following list.

I based my selections primarily on weight-room numbers and comments from Big Ten strength coaches.

Not every player submitted made the rundown, and both Wisconsin and Iowa chose not to make any individual player nominations. While I know guys like Iowa's Adrian Clayborn and Wisconsin's J.J. Watt do some serious damage in the weight room, I'd rather only list players who have their schools' support and whose schools provided weight-room data and/or comments from strength coaches.

Penn State didn't provide weight-room statistics but singled out linebacker Michael Mauti, wide receiver Derek Moye and defensive tackle Devon Still for their weight-room performance.

Here are my selections, listed alphabetically by school:

[+] EnlargeJarred Fayson
AP Photo/Jeff RobersonIllinois receiver Jarred Fayson has only four percent body fat.
Illinois WR Jarred Fayson 6-0, 215, Sr., Tampa, Fla.

  • Bench-presses 405 pounds, squats 500 pounds, power cleans 352 pounds
  • Runs the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds
  • Has just four percent body fat
Indiana LB Tyler Replogle 6-2, 238, Sr., Centerville, Ohio

  • Bench-presses 455 pounds, leg-presses 760 pounds
  • Has 33-inch vertical jump
  • Clocked at 4.2 seconds in the shuttle run
Michigan DT Mike Martin 6-2, 294, Jr., Redford, Mich.

  • Bench-presses 505 pounds, squats 700 pounds
  • Power cleans 430 pounds, hang cleans 475 pounds
  • Runs the 40-yard dash in 4.9 seconds
  • Strength coach Mike Barwis says: "Mike is an absolute warrior. He has a never quit attitude and is a natural born leader. He is one of the most impressive physical specimens I have ever seen."
Michigan C David Molk 6-2, 270, Jr., Lemont, Ill.

  • Bench-presses 490 pounds, squats 660 pounds
  • Power cleans 420 pounds, hang cleans 440 pounds
  • Runs the 40-yard dash in 4.9 seconds
  • Strength coach Mike Barwis says: "Dave is an outstanding worker and a natural athlete. He is one of the most naturally explosive linemen I have ever trained."
Michigan State LB Eric Gordon 6-0, 228, Jr., Traverse City, Mich.

  • Bench-presses 415 pounds
  • Squats 600 pounds
  • Best 40-yard dash time among Spartans linebackers at 4.52 seconds (Greg Jones clocks in at 4.55)
[+] EnlargeCharlie Gantt
Dave Stephenson/Icon SMIMinnesota's Charlie Gantt has the fastest 40-yard dash time among Spartan tight ends.
Michigan State TE Charlie Gantt 6-5, 248, Jr., Farmington Hills, Mich.

  • Bench-presses 470 pounds
  • Squats 535 pounds
  • Has the top 40-yard dash time among Spartans tight ends at 4.72 seconds
Minnesota LB Mike Rallis 6-2, 210, So., Edina, Minn.

  • Has increased his bench press from 325 to 365 pounds during the last year
  • Power cleans 345 pounds and squats significantly more than 550 pounds
  • Strength coach Mark Hill says: "Mike's work ethic exemplifies a guy who wants to succeed. He comes into the weight room every day and shows that he wants to contribute to this team winning. He does everything he needs to do. Mike absolutely attacks his workouts every day."
Minnesota RB DeLeon Eskridge 5-11, 198, Jr., San Francisco

  • Has improved his squat from 250 pounds when he arrived at Minnesota to 375 pounds now
  • Increased his bench press from 300 pounds to 340 pounds during the last year
  • Has increased his power clean from 250 to more than 300 pounds as a Gopher
  • Strength coach Mark Hill says: "I’ve been very impressed by DeLeon's improvements. He was a 185-pound freshman who had to play, due to depth issues. He could have used a red-shirt year to get bigger and stronger. But to see where he’s gone to achieve the strength, weight, speed, explosiveness and power needed to be a successful Big Ten back says a lot about his hard work."
Northwestern QB Dan Persa 6-1, 210, Jr., Bethlehem, Pa.

  • Bench-presses 385 pounds, squats 550 pounds and power cleans 330 pounds, all top marks for Wildcats quarterbacks
  • Soon will earn second consecutive "Top Cat" award as Northwestern's top weight-room performer
  • Strength coach Larry Lilja says: "Dan is off the charts. No one works harder in the weight room. For his size, I doubt there is any quarterback who can match his numbers."
[+] EnlargeCorbin Bryant
AP Photo/Nam Y. HuhCorbin Bryant, a 285-pound defensive tackle, has a 34-inch vertical jump.
Northwestern DT Corbin Bryant 6-4, 285, Sr., Chicago

  • Bench-presses 475 pounds, squats 600 pounds and power cleans 385 pounds
  • Has a 34-inch vertical jump
  • Strength coach Larry Lilja says: "He's one of our best workers and a true champion in the weight room."
Ohio State DL John Simon 6-2, 270, So., Youngstown, Ohio

  • Bench-pressed 450 and squatted 700 pounds as a high school senior
  • Can do 40 bench-press reps at 225 pounds
  • Runs the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds
  • Strength coach Jeff Uhlenhake says: "John Simon is the best total package workout guy I’ve ever been around, in college, in the pros, as a coach, anybody. He is amazing."
Purdue T Nick Mondek 6-5, 299, Jr., Naperville, Ill.

  • Former defensive lineman bench-presses 435 pounds, squats 605 pounds, power cleans 352 pounds
  • Has a 31-inch vertical jump
  • Runs the 40-yard dash in 4.82 seconds
  • Strength coach Jim Lathrop says: "Great worker who really has challenged himself. He has taken the position change and run with it. He is a leader in the weight room."
Purdue S Albert Evans 6-0, 206, Jr., Gary, Ind.

  • Bench-presses 355 pounds, squats 500 pounds
  • Power cleans 319 pounds
  • Strength coach Jim Lathrop says: "Albert has really improved and is establishing himself as a leader."

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