WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — There are currently a dozen players in Purdue's Den of Defensive Ends.
West Lafayette graduate Chike Okeafor as well as Roosevelt Colvin started the tradition back in 1999 while Ryan Kerrigan is the last Boilermaker added.
It's very possible the next Boilermaker selected is another former Red Devil in George Karlaftis.
The defensive end finished tied for first on the Gold and Black with 7.5 sacks as a freshman.
To put that number in perspective, Kerrigan had only one following his first season in West Lafayette. He racked up seven the following year.
"Where he's at in his development is so much further along than where I was when I was his age," Kerrigan said, "It's crazy just like the knowledge that he has and how he's able to like apply that to his game and also the way he's able to take care of his body."
The Washington Redskins nine-year veteran and four-time Pro Bowl defensive end has kept his eye on the the rising sophomore. In fact, the two frequently trade texts.
Kerrigan is not just impressed with Karlaftis' play, but his desire to improve.
"He's an animal," Kerrigan said. "He's not only a great player but man that guy really wants to be great. He always has asked me about little things about how he can get better. He's going to be a truly special player at Purdue and a guy that I think in this time a couple years from now we're going to be listening for his name on draft night."
Kerrigan is currently in Newport, Beach, California.
The Muncie native has been forced to get creative with his workout routines because of the coronavirus pandemic.
He pushes cars and uses two adjustable 55 pound dumbbels the previous homeowners left around.
Kerrigan missed the first game of his NFL career last season. He missed four total after 139 consecutive starts.
The 31-year-old isn't getting any younger.
That's why the Redskins selected Ohio State defensive end Chase Young with the second overall pick in this year's NFL Draft.
Kerrigan wants to finish his career in Washington. However, he's in the final year of his contract.
Whether this is Kerrigan's last season with the Redskins, he's looking forward to working with Young.
He's also ready to mention the last time the Boilermakers played Young and the Buckeyes.
"You're damn right I'll bring that up to him," Kerrigan said. "But I'm really excited about bringing him on. He's an unbelievable player. He's as advertised when you talk about pass-rushers. I mean a guy that can do it all. Play the run, rush the passer. I remember seeing him a couple years back when I think he was a freshman playing in one of those White Out games against Penn State and I'm thinking, 'This dude is really good and he's only a freshman.' To now see where he is development-wise as a player and becoming a professional football player I'm excited to see where it goes for him."