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MERRILLVILLE - Danny Hope has had his share of problems since taking over the Purdue football program in 2008. However, for a change, he has a “good problem” to deal with this coming season.
Hope met with members of the John Purdue Club during a stop on the Purdue Coaches Caravan on Monday in Merrillville. The tour continues Tuesday at the Fort Wayne Country Club. The social hour begins at 5:30 p.m. with the program at 6:30 p.m.
The Boilermaker coach is faced with the difficult decision heading into fall training camp of who will take the snaps more often than not. Hope is reveling in the “excellent situation.”
Seniors Caleb Terbush and Robert Marve shared snaps last season and both performed well at times. However, junior Rob Henry just might be better than both Terbush and Marve.
“We are in a good situation where we have some experience and winning quarterbacks coming back,” Hope said. “It's the first time since I've been at Purdue that I've had an experienced quarterback that is healthy and ready to play.”
Henry was ready to perform at a high level a year ago after a strong 2010 season. As a redshirt sophomore, Henry led the Boilermakers in both rushing and passing, a feat that had never been achieved before. Then last August he suffered a season-ending knee injury and sat out for the second time in three seasons in West Lafayette.
“He's been cleared,” Hope said. “But when you come off of an ACL injury, you have to get out there and play and get yourself back into football shape.”
Unfortunately, Hope is an expert in handling players easing back onto the field following an injury. He indicated Monday that he sees Henry taking a similar path as senior Purdue runner Ralph Bolden and Marve, who have both come back from injuries to perform well as the season progressed, if not initially.
“He'll be cleared, but whether he's ready or not, we'll see when we get out there,” Hope said.
Entering training camp, Terbush, Marve and Henry will be listed in that order on the depth chart. Hope doesn't know if it will remain that way.
“They'll compete through camp,” Hope said. “We'll continue the competition throughout the course of the season with more than one guy playing in the games.”
Who will play remains a mystery, but Hope doesn't believe that Henry, who “will be listed as a quarterback on our roster,” will be on the bench very often.
“(Henry) is a heck of a player,” Hope said. “He has the skill set to line up at any one of our skill positions on offense. You could see him behind center as the quarterback. You might see him at receiver. You might see him in the backfield as well. He'll continue his development as a quarterback, but we have a plan (for him).”