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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, March 08, 2018 1:00 am

Boilers going on spring break

Coach Brohm not on vacation, though

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

WEST LAFAYETTE – At the end of Purdue's fifth practice of the spring Wednesday, coach Jeff Brohm called his team to the middle of the field and gave it a friendly reminder.

“We're the smart team,” he said. “That's what we've been saying, be the smart team.”

Brohm's reminder came as the team departs for its spring break. After five practices in the last 10 days, the Boilermakers have reached the longest stoppage in their spring schedule, with no formal on-field sessions for 12 days.

“Like always, you want them to come back safe and sound and honestly in better condition than when they left,” said Brohm, who is entering his second season as Purdue's coach. “I don't want them to do anything stupid or poison their body. They've gotta utilize the time to get healthy and come back hungrier than ever.”

The break means more time off for some Boilermakers than for others. Brohm said his kids are still in school so there will no vacation for him. In fact, his plan for the week sounds a lot like what it would be for the average coach during the football season.

“I'll probably be in the office getting caught up on some film study, getting better ourselves, with some of the teams we'll play early,” said Brohm, who added that he might try to see the Boilermakers basketball team in the NCAA Tournament.

On the other hand, the break gives some players time to see their families and, in some cases, get some home cooking. Redshirt freshman defensive end Giovanni Reviere said he's particularly looking forward to some home cooking in Tennessee.

“Counting this time, I've been only home twice the whole year, so I really miss my family, and I'm just going home to enjoy time with them,” Reviere said. “I can't stand this Midwest food, I need some southern food in me.”

Despite his aversion to the region's food, Purdue fans should familiarize themselves with Reviere's name. The 6-foot-6 edge rusher has recovered from a broken foot that kept him out all of last season, and Brohm expects him to be a major part of a revamped defensive line.

Purdue's defensive front was one of its strongest units last season, giving up just 3.5 yards per carry, an improvement of nearly two full yards from 2016. Defensive ends Gelen Robinson and Antoine Miles combined for 18 tackles for loss and six sacks, but both departed after 2017, leaving a void on the edge.

Enter Reviere, a three-star recruit from the 2017 class out of Chattanooga. He broke his foot a week before training camp opened last season, but instead of writing the season off as lost, he used his recovery to build up strength he'll need to battle Big Ten offensive linemen.

“I feel a lot quicker and a lot stronger off the ball,” said Reviere, who squats 490 pounds. “Especially in the run game against these guys. They're big. Where I came from I've always went against big guys, but since I was so small I had a challenge. Since I rehabbed I feel like I've gotten a lot stronger and I'm able to maintain my gap.”

Brohm has been impressed with the defensive end and envisions a large role for him in 2018.

“I think getting (Reviere) through the first two weeks (healthy) has been a huge plus,” the coach said. “He can do a lot of things for us. He has to make sure that he's in great condition and he knows what we're doing and continues to get stronger at the point of attack. He's a big body that's going to have to play a lot for us and play at a high level.”

Purdue will be back to practice on March 19, with less than three weeks before the team's spring game on April 7.