Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, October 28, 2015
To say Purdue?s season has been a disappointment to date would be an understatement. The team looked like it may be poised for a breakthrough of sorts in its third year under Darrell Hazell. It hasn?t happened, as the Boilermakers are 1-6 overall and 0-3 in the Big Ten.
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But that doesn?t keep wideout Danny Anthrop from grinding on in hopes of reversal of fortunes. The 6-1, 186-pound senior has 28 catches for 243 yards and a TD in a season that has seen him deal with his personal adversity of recovery from a knee injury that ended 2014 early.
I caught up with Anthrop as he prepped to play Nebraska this Saturday.
Q: Your season ended with a right ACL injury last November 1 at Nebraska. Now, the Huskers come to Purdue this Saturday. Now, a year later, have you been 100 percent?
A: I have had some issues. But the farther along I get, the better I feel. This bye week did wonders for me. This was probably the best practice (Tuesday) I had all year. I went through a full practice for the first time since probably two weeks into camp. I did everything today and I feel good.
Q: How close were you to taking a medical redshirt?
A: It was early on a possibility. But I talked to the coaches and we decided I probably would be better off not going that route.
Q: How are you dealing with the frustrations of recovery?
A: All I can control is what I can do when the opportunity comes my way and how I handle myself. All of the adversity, it?s nothing really new to me. That?s a product of going through this type of injury, being able to deal with that type of stuff. It kind of has been a blessing in disguise, dealing with what has been going on with my body and going through what I did.
Q: This season hasn?t gone as expected. Purdue has just one victory and hasn?t won a Big Ten home game since your freshman year in 2012. How are you dealing with the losses, which now number five in a row?
A: We just have to rely on each other. We don?t really understand it. We wish there was a simple answer for it. We are frustrated. We put in all the work, but that doesn?t guarantee you anything. For us, it?s just keeping our mind right. I think the bye week was huge for that. There definitely is a different vibe among the guys.
Q: How has redshirt freshman quarterback David Blough been looking?
A: David has been playing well. He hasn?t had any type of apprehension. He goes in there and is a gunslinger, that?s what is exciting. I am happy for him. These last five games are going to be big for him and for the rest of his career.
Q: What are some things Darrell Hazell has said to the team to keep everyone focused?
A: He tells us it just takes that one win to get us back on track. You can?t focus on the past, that won?t do you any good. But you can?t forget about it, either. That?s some insightful stuff. I am glad we have that type of leadership on our team.
Q: Do you have a favorite pass route?
A: Any type of vertical route, or maybe an option route. We have an option route that I run quite a bit that I like a lot.
Q: How has the receiving corps developed?
A: They have been playing well. I think that?s a product of Coach (Gerad) Parker. DeAngelo (Yancey) lost 10-12 pounds. He is looking great. Cameron Posey does well, Domonique Young has come in and helped us. And Greg Phillips has had a pretty good year. I think we have one of the top corps in the conference. It has been kind of frustrating because we haven?t been able to show it. But we have been doing well with our opportunities.
Q: You starred at a Lafayette, Ind., High School, Central Catholic. What is it like to be able to stay home and play college football?
A: I love it. It has been my dream all along to come to Purdue and play football. I never have been more excited for an opportunity. It has been a blast. I can?t thank the community and everyone who has supported me enough.
Q: What are the team goals the rest of the way?
A: We have to take it one game at a time. My freshman year, we had to win our last three games to go to a bowl and did it. This year, we need to win all five. But we just need to take care of this week?s game.