Marve is Purdue's top QB entering camp

Updated: July 13, 2010, 6:46 PM ET
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com

Robert Marve will be Purdue's No. 1 quarterback when the Boilermakers open preseason camp next month.

Marve, a junior who transferred to Purdue from Miami after starting 11 games as a redshirt freshman in 2008, shared the starting job with sophomore Caleb TerBush during spring practice. But on Tuesday, coach Danny Hope named Marve the team's top quarterback for camp, which begins Aug. 6.

"We like everything about Robert -- his ability to throw the football, run with the football and lead our team from the quarterback position -- and we want him to begin practice with the mindset that he is the guy," Hope said in a statement. "Knowing Robert and his competitiveness, he will not take this decision for granted and, if anything, it will make him more determined than ever to solidify the starting position."

A decorated high school star from Tampa, Fla., Marve passed for 1,293 yards and 11 touchdowns for Miami but struggled with problems off the field. He transferred to Purdue and was sidelined for last season with a torn ACL.

He said the knee issue no longer exists.

"I feel 100 percent," he said. "I don't feel it anymore. I'm doing all the running and lifting."

The wait made Marve appreciate the sport.

"I think the thing it did the most was made me more hungry," he said. "It made me realize this was a great blessing. It made me realize this was a big deal. You keep playing football and sometimes, you kind of take it for granted, maybe. It humbled me down and made me realize it's a really special game."

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Marve took part in all of spring practice and threw for 160 yards and a touchdown in the spring game. He did enough to earn the Newcomer Award, given to the player who makes the most progress in his first spring practice.

"The spring was a great time for me to get my timing back, get my feet wet again," he said. "I feel like I know the offense very, very good right now. Looking forward to being able to get the ball out of my hand faster and knowing when to make the big play."

Purdue opens the season Sept. 4 at Notre Dame.

With the Hurricanes, Marve took over as the starting quarterback in the second game of the 2008 season. He made 11 consecutive starts and helped guide Miami to five straight wins from Oct. 11 to Nov. 13. He threw for 1,293 yards and nine touchdowns that season, but he was held out of the Emerald Bowl as a punishment for missing class. Jacory Harris started in the 24-17 loss to California.

Harris was selected the starter entering 2009, and on Dec. 30, Marve told The Associated Press he was leaving Miami.

Marve considering walking on at Tennessee. He visited South Florida, Arizona State and Nebraska, and several other schools were interested.

He settled on Purdue in part because it ran a similar spread offense to the system he ran at Plant High School, where he was Florida's Mr. Football in 2006. Hope said Marve immediately made Purdue a better football program, but he had to wait.

Marve watched how Joey Elliott ran the offense for a year. Elliott passed for 3,026 yards and 22 touchdowns last season and led the Boilermakers to wins over Ohio State and Michigan.

"I think his biggest thing was the knowledge of the playbook, his knowledge of what was going on on the field," Marve said. "I felt he saw the field very well. He taught me how to be patient, he taught me the timing of routes, how to manipulate routes."

Marve's games at Miami played a role in Hope's decision to start him over TerBush.

"Robert's already played in some big games," he said. "He has more experience than any of our guys."

Marve is ready to go: "I've been counting the days for Notre Dame for a long time now."

Adam Rittenberg covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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