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FORT WAYNE — Purdue coach Danny Hope believes Landon Feichter has the “special” skills necessary to excel at special teams.
“He’s fast enough to be an outstanding special-teams player,” Hope said last week at Purdue’s media day. “And he’s mean enough and tough enough to lead the way as a special-teams player.
“We graduated Chris Carlino last year and some other guys that took a lot of pride in special teams. They were kind of tempo guys. I anticipate Landon being one of those guys.”
Feichter is preparing for his sophomore season with Purdue. The Bishop Dwenger graduate is one of three walk-ons with ties to Fort Wayne.
He is joined by his brother Evan, who was recently added to the roster, and Austin Parker, who went to high school at Mount Vernon in Fortville.
Landon Feichter, who is 6 feet and 178 pounds, is competing for time at safety and is ready to make a contribution any way he can.
“The keys to my success is just knowing I can never take a day off and never being complacent with where I’m at on the field or in my rotation,” Feichter said. “Being surrounded by great teammates helps a lot, too.”
Feichter was a three-year letterwinner in football with the Saints. He did not see any action in 2010 after walking on at Purdue. He appeared in all 13 games last season and made one start. He had 25 tackles and one pass breakup.
“It was great. Coming in as a walk-on, you don’t expect to be on the field that quickly and soon,” he said. “Being able to help a team that went on to a bowl game and win, it’s just a surreal feeling and something that you’ll never forget.”
His one start came against Notre Dame. He finished with a career-high eight tackles, all solo, in the 38-10 loss to the Irish.
Feichter had six tackles, five solo, in the victory against Western Michigan in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.
“It helped me a lot,” Feichter said of last season. “It helped me knowing the plays. Just learning from (former teammates) Albert (Evans) and Logan (Link) helped out. It grew my football IQ a lot.”
Feichter spent a portion of the offseason recovering from a shoulder injury that cost him practice time during the spring.
He’s worked on improving his footwork. An academic All-Big Ten award winner, Feichter also put in the time studying offenses and schemes so that things become second-nature when he’s on the field.
“He’s going to help us now,” Hope said. “He’s very, very fast. He’s a legitimate sprinter. He has a lot of fight about him. He’s very scrappy. We’re looking for some guys from the special teams standpoint that have special skills and he does.
“… He’s competing to get playing time in the two-deep as a safety. I anticipate him impacting our football team immediately as a special teams player and him embracing that role. He’s perfect for special teams.”