2011’s 10 Most Important Purdue Football Players: #9


The Boiling Point: Purdue’s Akeem Shavers checks in at No. 9 of TheBoilingPoint.com’s list of most important football players for the upcoming season.

Year: Junior
Position: Running back
Number: 24
Key stat: He averaged more than 9 yards a carry in junior college last season.
Analysis: Some might be surprised to see Shavers on this list as he’s never played a game for the Boilers, but Shavers is going to have to carry some of the load in the backfield. How big that load is all depends on how Ralph Bolden has recovered from his second ACL tear in the same knee. Even if Bolden is the same guy he was before the injury, Shavers is going to be needed. But if that’s not the case, Shavers immediately becomes the featured back and will be relied upon heavily.

That might be OK, too, given the rave reviews from players and coaches out of spring ball. Shavers was a mid-year signee and enrolled at Purdue in January after spending the past two seasons at Tyler Junior College in Texas. In 2010, he rushed for 450 yards and three touchdowns on just 50 carries. That included a 210-yard performance in one game. Obviously, making the transition to Big Ten football can be significant, but it appears Shavers is ready to do that and he might have to be a big part of the offense depending on Bolden’s ability.

This is part of a daily series that will continue with No. 8 on Saturday. Again, these are the most IMPORTANT players for this upcoming season, not necessarily best. Make sure to check back to follow the list. Also, do you agree or disagree? Let us hear your thoughts.

Complete list
No. 10 Carson Wiggs
No. 9 Akeem Shavers