Purdue linebacker Dwayne Beckford and receiver O.J. Ross -- who were both suspended before the Little Caesars Bowl -- have been put back on scholarship and are expected play in 2012 coach Danny Hope said over the weekend.
Beckford was dismissed from school following a DUI arrest but has been reinstated, while Ross was taken off scholarship following academic problems. Ross practiced with the team this spring.
Beckford was the team's second-leading tackler in 2011, and the Boilermakers do not have much experience at the linebacker position. His trial on the DUI charge is set for June, and he also faces sentencing for violating his probation from a 2011 conviction for leaving the scene of an accident.
Ross was the team's third leading receiver a year ago, catching 33 passes for 356 yards and three touchdowns. Purdue's leading receiver, Antavian Edison, was arrested in Florida earlier this month on suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon. But he remains on the team, Hope told the Lafayette Journal and Courier.
“Right now, he’s in school,” Hope said. “Antavian has not been charged with anything. He’s in school, he’s on the team and he has not been dismissed.”
All three players will be key parts of what Purdue hopes is a breakthrough season after last year's 7-6 campaign.