Purdue Head Coach Darrell Hazell Needs Time

By Derek Helling
Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

Darrell Hazell hasn’t had a pretty beginning to his tenure at Purdue. Through six games the Boilermakers are 1-5 overall and 0-2 in Big Ten play and has been outscored 227-92. In six games the Boilermakers have only run for 467 yards and are minus three in the turnover department.

The list of negative statistics are a mile long, but Purdue fans must not only remember that Hazell is coaching Danny Hope‘s team but Hazell’s history. Hazell was hired because of his experience in the Big Ten and his almost overnight turnaround at Kent State. Hazell’s work combined with what the Boilermakers have in their underclassmen could mean a bright future for Purdue.

Hazell worked for seven years at Ohio State under then head coach Jim Tressel as the assistant head and wide receiver coach. During his tenure he coached Buckeyes like Ted Ginn Jr., Anthony Gonzalez, Santonio Holmes and DeVier Posey. Ohio State also won five straight conference championships during Hazell’s time. Hazell has proven his ability to develop wide receivers into a productive part of a winning team.

That ability is convenient for Purdue, as the current roster has 11 wide receivers on its roster that are either sophomores, redshirt freshmen or true freshmen. If you pair that group of receivers with young quarterback Danny Etling, the Boilermakers could have a proficient passing attack soon depending on how quickly this group develops.

Hazell proved his ability to turn a program into a winner in his two years as the head coach of the Golden Flashes. Kent State went from a perennial doormat in the MAC to winning its first ever division title and finished the season ranked 17th in the BCS poll. Like with this Boilermaker team, Hazell was in charge of a team with a young group of receivers and he made them into part of one of the best teams in the nation in 2012.

It is ugly now; no one is disputing that. However, Hazell worked nothing short of magic in just his second season at Kent State. Boilermakers fans must be patient and let Hazell work.

Derek Helling is a writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “like” him on Facebook and add him on Google+.

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