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Class: Junior Height / Weight: 6-4 / 250
Hometown: Oak Brook, IL High School: York Community

Getting ready for Cali
By Tim Stratton
Special to

On Monday, Purdue tight end Tim Stratton was in New York as one of three finalists for the inaugural John Mackey Award. Stratton won the award, beating out North Carolina's Alge Crumpler and Arizona State's Todd Heap. He is now preparing for a trip to Pasadena as the Big Ten co-champs get ready to face No. 4 Washington in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day (ABC, 4:30 p.m. ET)..

It was my first time in New York. Chicago is cool, but this place doesn't sleep. There's neon everywhere, everything is open ... This place is unbelievable.

Tim Stratton
Tim Stratton and Purdue will go to Pasadena for New Year's Day.
This was a great experience. I had a chance to hang out with Alge and Todd. I had heard all about them. They were cool guys. I have seen them both play. I didn't expect to win. I was here to have a good time. I brought my mom along.

I have a lot of people to thank -- my team, the line, the coaches, the Nassau Commission, John Mackey. He's a character. He reminds me of me. I hope I am like him when I am older. He said he played at 217. That's what I weighed in high school when I was a wide receiver.

I am praying for Drew Brees to win the Heisman on Saturday night. We might have too many losses, but he owns every Big Ten record and we're going to the Rose Bowl. Honestly, I think he should win it because he's had a hell of a career.

He's made me. Granted, I can catch the ball, but I have needed someone to get it there. Ever since our freshman year when we walked onto campus together, I knew that there was something good about him. I have never had a quarterback like him before in my life. He's probably the reason I am here.

I am excited about the Rose Bowl. I want to get out to California, party, see the sights, and play an awesome team in Washington.

I asked Todd for a scouting report on Washington. He said they have good safeties and a good defense. It's going to be a challenge, but it is big-time. I think we're ready for it.

In April, they are going to send me back to New York for the Awards Dinner. I hope to bring one of the guys out with me. Nothing against my mother, but I want to experience New York on a Saturday night and see what it's like.

Stratton's Purdue Statistics
Year Rec. Yards Average TD Long
2000 56 579 10.3 2 29
1999 49 593 12.1 4 34
1998 38 381 10.0 7 29
Total 143 1,553 10.9 13 34

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 Purdue's Drew Brees throws 14 yards to Tim Stratton for the TD.(courtesy: ABCSports)
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 Purdue's Drew Brees breaks down Indiana's defense on this 2-yard TD run.(courtesy: ABCSports)
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