2011’s 10 Most Important Purdue Football Players: #3


The Boiling Point: Purdue’s Ralph Bolden checks in at No. 3 of TheBoilingPoint.com’s list of most important football players for the upcoming season.

No. 3 Ralph Bolden
Year: Junior
Position: Running back
Number: 23
Key stat: 935 – yards gained on the ground as a sophomore
Analysis: So far, so good with Bolden. The second-team all-Big Ten back from two years ago is starting to regain his form after missing all of last season with a torn ACL he suffered during spring practice. And that’s big news considering Purdue didn’t have a legit full-time running back last season and given Bolden’s production in 2009. He started all 12 games and finished with 11 total touchdowns while anchoring the backfield.

The reason he lands so high on this list is because he’s the only guy on the roster with ANY experience of running the ball in the Big Ten. Sure, Purdue added Akeem Shavers, who checked in at No. 9 on this list solely because if Bolden’s not healthy he’s the guy, but this should be Bolden’s show. If he is back to his old self, Purdue’s offense has a giant leg up on last year, especially with likely starting quarterback Rob Henry healthy. With all that said, Bolden could easily rush for 1,000 yards this season and be one of the best backs in the league.

This is part of a daily series that will continue with No. 2 on Friday. 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
No. 8 Dwayne Beckford
No. 7 Ricardo Allen
No. 6 Ken Plue
No. 5 Kwann Short 
No. 4 Justin Siller