Purdue 'got better' during 15 spring practices capped with scrimmage

On3 imageby:Tom Dienhart04/22/23


It’s official: Ryan Walters‘ first spring practice is in the books, as Purdue capped drills on Saturday with a scrimmage inside the Mollenkopf Athletic Center.

“We got some scrimmage in today, just worked on some different scenarios,” said Walters. “I’m happy with where we’re at offensively and defensively. There was some good back and forth today. Guys made plays. It was clean. Stayed relatively healthy. I’m excited for the guys to get back from that May break and get another eight weeks with Coach Ro (strength coach Kiero Small) in the summertime before we get going in fall camp.”

Purdue punted the idea of a spring game, instead opting for a scrimmage that lasted less than two hours. Myriad recruits watched, along with parents. The media was not allowed to observe.

“We just played football,” said Walters. “Situations are gonna happen. Didn’t feel like we needed to fabricate any scenarios today. For this last one, just wanted to get out and go play football and see how the guy’s reacted and we got good quality work in and then got out healthy.”

By the time Walters hits the field for camp in August, this roster will look a lot different. Purdue already has landed eight players from the transfer portal. And more are on the way.

“Potentially, (the roster) could look a lot different if I think happens happens,” said Walters. “Obviously, you never know with recruiting these days and NIL and what some schools may or may not be able to offer and provide. But, we’ll see. We’ll see in June who’s here and who’s not.”

MORE: 2023 Purdue spring football content hub | Transfer portal tracker

Walters says exit interviews with players will begin soon. After that, Purdue could see some of its own players enter the portal, which opened for a 15-day window on April 15 and closes April 30. The roster building never stops.

“Hitting the recruiting trail tough with transfer portal and trying to get a good jump on evals with the ’24 and ’25 class and that’s about it,” said Walters of what he has on deck.

Purdue worked this spring without many key players who were out recovering from injury, including C Gus Hartwig, TE Garrett Miller, WR Broc Thompson, OLB Kydran Jenkins and NT Damarjhe Lewis. There has been one other constant: Good play by Texas transfer QB Hudson Card.

“Hudson Card has got a chance to be really special,” said Walters. “Hadn’t played a ton of ball as a starter, but he’s very mature, very poised. Got a good command of what we’re trying to do schematically and he’s got some talent. So, I’m happy he’s here.”

Walters also is happy with how spring drills unfolded.

“We got better,” said Walters. “I felt like every day, I don’t think there was a practice where we wasted one. Even when we got thin at some spots, guys stepped up and we were still able to get good work. And just get some situational football stuff taken care of and introduced before we get to fall camp in August.”

Walters’ big takeaway from the spring?

“For us as a staff, just really getting to know the roster, getting to evaluate some of the positions of need better to better direct us on the recruiting trail and really in the transfer portal, as well,” said Walters. “So, I’m happy with where we’re at and who we’ve got targeted and who I think we can potentially land here the next couple of weeks.”

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