A casual Purdue football fan may not recognize the No. 16 lined up at receiver, but Purdue players and coaches know No. 16 as one of the hardest working players on the team.
Redshirt freshman Dolapo Macarthy was recruited as a developmental quarterback but when he arrived to school, converted to receiver. He said because he used to be a quarterback, it didn’t make the transition as hard.
“It helps that I’m 6-6 and I can run,” Macarthy said. “I think for me, being that I was a quarterback knowing where receivers are supposed to be and routes and stuff, that helped me out a lot.”
Macarthy never strays away from asking questions or doing anything he can do to make himself a better receiver and football player.
“I think I have been improving every week,” Macarthy said. “I’ve been paying attention to detail and really trying to focus on the small things and let everything else take care of itself. Coach Higgins, Antavian (Edison), O.J. (Ross) and Gary (Bush) have really been helping me out.”
Senior receiver Antavian Edison said he has never seen a player work as hard as Macarthy did to be in the position he is right now.
“When he first came over, he didn’t really like to take licks that much,” Edison said with a laugh. “This summer, I have never seen anybody work so hard. He looked up to the upperclassmen and asked us about every single route. I’m so happy he’s doing good things now.”
The Merrillville, Ind., native has seen increased playing time this season as he has five receptions for 57 yards in two games. After catching two passes for 24 yards against Notre Dame, Macarthy cracked this week’s two deep depth chart for the first time.
Purdue head coach Danny Hope said Macarthy has made it where he is by working hard and being patient.
“He is very talented,” Hope said. “He did a great job on the scout team last year and was very competitive on the scout team last year. His role could increase. He is going to be a good player for us.”
Upon graduating high school, Macarthy took a year away from football to visit his homeland of Lagos, Nigeria where he visited family.
“It was good to go home and experience the culture firsthand,” Macarthy said. “I was a kid so I don’t remember much, but it opened my eyes to another aspect of life.”
At 6-foot 5-inches, 220 lbs, Macarthy brings size that Purdue’s starting receivers lack. Edison said once Macarthy fully knows how to use his frame he will be a dangerous threat in Purdue’s aerial attack.
“In the future he will be good with jump balls in the redzone,” Edison said. “He continues to improve every day.”