To help commemorate the 20-year anniversary of Purdue's magical turnaround 1997 season, GoldandBlack.com's staff will break up the rosters and select the best players to wear a Boilermaker uniform since Coach Joe Tiller's first season on the sidelines.
GoldandBlack.com's 20-year Purdue player draft will have 100 players chosen — two picks each weekday over 10 weeks. Boilermakers who were on Purdue rosters between 1997-2017 are eligible for selection. The draft order is Alan Karpick, Stacy Clardie, Kyle Charters and Brian Neubert.
Karpick goes off-the-beaten path for another talented, versatile Boilermaker.
Draft ticker: Nos. 1-92
John Reeves overcame much at Purdue. His career was a roller coaster ride.
He began as one of the stigmatized Prop 48 casualties, then earned a starting spot as a quarterback as a sophomore in Coach Jim Colletto's offense in 1995, then overcame a life-threating bout with meningitis after that season, only to find himself back in the starting lineup at quarterback for Colletto in '96. But it wasn't just Colletto who liked Reeves, as he left Coach Joe Tiller's first spring camp as the starter behind center before giving way to Billy Dicken.
But, as Tiller so aptly did during his tenure, especially early in his time on the sidelines, he figured out a way to get his best player on the field. He just ran out of time, to some extent, with Reeves. In '97 after losing the starting quarterback job, Reeves found himself in the secondary where he played in nine games. Reeves, who had to graduate in four years to earn a fifth year of eligibility due to the Prop 48 rules at the time, achieved that feat and was eligible for the '98 season. In his final year, he was a linebacker who had enough raw talent to earn a roster spot in the NFL for two seasons with the Chargers. And he played well in '98 at the position, starting nine games after beating out Mike Rose, posting 50 tackles with a pick and two fumble recoveries and two fumbles caused.
To me, this is a guy you want on your team. At 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, he had the size and athleticism to be a real difference-maker. And he showed that his senior season.
My team is full of misfits, to go along with my stars, and Reeves makes perfect sense to fit right in with my group at linebacker, at defensive back or, heck, he probably would have been a pretty salty slot receiver, too.
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