11/27/21 Indiana, Aidan O'Connell

Then-fifth-year quarterback Aidan O'Connell runs with the ball during a November game against Indiana.

Looking for something to do Saturday? The Purdue football team is hosting its annual spring game. The event starts at noon on Saturday, and entry is free.

Head coach Jeff Brohm will show off his team in a Boilermaker versus Boilermaker matchup. Fans will see returning players, including sixth-year senior quarterback Aidan O’Connell, senior tight end Payne Durham and senior wide receiver Milton Wright.

Alongside the returning players will be fresh faces, including linebacker Yanni Karlaftis, junior linebacker George Karlaftis’ brother, and quarterback Brady Allen. George Karlaftis declared for the NFL draft in December and will be leaving the team along with wide receiver David Bell and former defensive coordinator Brad Lambert.

With that, big questions surround the defense for the coming year, and the younger Karlaftis may play a role in shaping the new defensive dynamic.

“Yanni has expressed a desire to play defensive end position,” Brohm said during spring training. “We also want to still give him a look as a linebacker in the box as well, but we want to get him on the field.”

The last time the Boilermakers took to the field was back in December when the team played Tennessee in the Music City Bowl. O’Connell threw for 534 yards and five touchdowns to carry the Boilers to a 48-45 victory.

O’Connell was able to return for his sixth year using an extra year of eligibility due to NCAA COVID-19 rules. The quarterback has +10,000 odds to win the Heisman on Fanduel.com. He will have to compete with the incoming Allen. Allen won the 2021 Indiana Mr. Football award after breaking the state’s all-time passing touchdown record.

O’Connell will be given the starting role, but Allen will look to impress fans during the event.

“We’ve got a lot of new faces and guys out here that haven’t played as much, and I think they are eager to prove their worth,” Brohm said.

Gates will open at 11 a.m. and parking in most lots will be free for the day. The team store will be open and concessions, including alcohol, will be sold during the event, according to the official Purdue Sports website. The event will also air on BTN+.

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