Keyes Speaks Out About Football Philosophy


The Boiling Point: Purdue football legend Leroy Keyes spoke about the Purdue football program’s need for change in philosophy at an Alumni Club event Wednesday.

Leroy Keyes, Purdue football legend and associate director of the John Purdue Club, spoke out about a need for change in the Purdue football program at an Alumni Club gathering in Northwest Indiana Wednesday. Unfortunately, the change Keyes wants to see in the program isn’t necessarily a new coach, but rather in the way the program markets itself.

Keyes worries that Purdue’s image as a quarterback school is scaring off the nation’s top high school running backs.

"“They wonder: ‘Where do I fit in?’ They don’t want to get caught up in a blocking scheme all the time,” Keyes said. “I could see it if you had John Brockington or a running back who weighed 235."

"“But these (recruits) are weighing 170, 180 pounds. You get blown up enough as a running back and you’re like: ‘If I’m gonna keep getting blown up, let me run the ball and get blown up."

"“‘Don’t let me have to block all day.'”"

Keyes, a two-time Heisman finalist and former running back, said Purdue’s philosophy shifted when Drew Brees came to campus and the Boilers started throwing the ball “80 times a game.” That had never happened for Purdue before, he said:

"“Back when Bob Griese and Mike Phipps were in their prime, or Gary Danielson and Mark Herrmann, to throw the ball 35 times a game was unheard of."

"“You had Otis Armstrong, you had Mike Pruitt, you had some running backs who could get yardage,” Keyes said. “But all of a sudden, when it looked like the running back was getting close to 1,000 yards, you pulled the plug on the running game.”"

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