This week’s countdown of the best Purdue football players to wear Nos. 71-80 features a handful of all-time great Boilermakers.
Of the 10 players ranked, seven were All-Americans, plus a pair of Super Bowl champion offensive linemen.
No. 71
The pick: Alex Magee
At 6-3, 298 pounds, Magee (2005-08) was athletic enough shift to defensive end after three seasons as a defensive tackle. That move paid off with 3.5 sacks among his 28 tackles and a third round selection by the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL Draft.
Honorable mention: Kelly Butler (2001-03) was a Big Ten All-Freshman selection and started every game at tackle during his three-year career. ... John LeFeber (1975-78) was a three-year starter as well at offensive tackle and was a key player in Purdue's Peach Bowl winning team as a senior. ... Matt Hernandez (1980-82) was a two-year starter at defensive tackle but shifted to offensive tackle for his two seasons in the NFL with Seattle and Minnesota. ... Fred Rafa (1965-67) starred at defensive tackle for Purdue's first Rose Bowl team.
No. 72
The pick: Bill Yanchar
Brilliant in the classroom (Academic All-American in 1969) and on the field (first-team All-Big Ten defensive tackle in 1968 and 1969), Yanchar closed his career in style with 15 tackles in a 44-21 victory against Indiana.
Honorable mention: Ken Loushin (1976-79) also was a disruptive defensive tackle who was a two-time All-Big Ten selection and an Academic All-American. ... Emmett Zitelli (1993-96) was a four-year starter at either guard or center. He was a second-team All-Big Ten pick as a senior. ... Tackle Phil O’Reilly (1944, 1946-48) was Purdue's MVP in 1947, the same year he earned first-team All-Big Ten honors.
No. 73
The picks: Don Brumm and Jerry Shay
The similarities between these two defensive tackles — who played the same position from 1960-1965 — made it impossible to choose just one.
Brumm starred at Hammond High School before coming to Purdue, where he was an All-American and first-team All-Big Ten selection in 1962. He then was a first-round draft pick (13th overall) of the St. Louis Cardinals and played 10 seasons in the NFL.
Shay, who played at Gary Wallace, was an All-American and a first-team All-Big Ten selection during his senior season in 1965. The Minnesota Vikings took Shay seventh overall in the 1966 NFL Draft.
Honorable mention: Frank Kmet (1988-91) was a three-year starting defensive lineman who recorded 14 career sacks. His son is now a rookie tight end for the Chicago Bears.
No. 74
The pick: Ken Novak
Novak (1973-75) got All-American voters' attention in 1975 when he led Purdue with 87 tackles. Oddly, even though he was selected to several All-American teams that season, he wasn't a first-team All-Big Ten pick even though he earned that distinction in 1974. Novak was drafted in the first round, 20th overall, by the Baltimore Colts in 1976.
Honorable mention: Offensive lineman Steve McKenzie (1976-79) was a three-year starter who earned first-team All-Big Ten honors as a senior. ... End Bob Heck (1945-48) was a four-year starter and one of Bob DeMoss' favorite targets. He led Purdue in receiving as a senior. ... Tackle Jim Bonk (1965-67) was a three-year starter during one of the finest eras in Purdue football. He not only played in the Rose Bowl but was a member of the 1967 Big Ten championship team.
No. 75
The pick: Lance Olssen
Purdue had a strong run of standout defensive linemen in the 1960s and 1970s, and Olssen earned his place in Boilermaker history with first-team All-Big Ten honors as a junior and a senior in 1966-67. Injuries cut short his professional career after being a third-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 1968.
Honorable mention: Paul DeNuccio was a three-year starting offensive tackle (1968-70) and earned first-team All-Big Ten honors as a junior. ... Tom Jelesky (1979-81) was one of Jim Young's highest-rated recruits as an offensive tackle out of Merrillville. He earned second-team All-Big Ten honors in 1981.
No. 76
The pick: Charles Miller
One of Purdue's first All-Americans, Miller was a three-year starter at center for Purdue from 1929-31 under two of its best coaches, James Phelan and Noble Kizer. Miller played on two Big Ten championship teams and then won two NFL titles with George Halas' Chicago Bears, blocking for the legendary Red Grange and Bronko Nagurski.
High honorable mention: Jerry Beabout (1958-60) was a three-year starter at left tackle. He earned All-American, Academic All-American and first-team All-Big Ten honors as a senior.
Honorable mention: Offensive tackle Henry Feil (1977-80) was a three-year starter on Purdue's bowl teams featuring quarterback Mark Herrmann.
No. 77
The pick: Karl Singer
Singer, an offensive tackle, earned Associated Press All-America honors as a senior in 1965 while protecting quarterback Bob Griese. Singer was a first-round pick by the Boston Patriots in the 1966 AFL Draft.
Honorable mention: Tom Luken (1969-71) was a three-year starter on the offensive line, earning first-team All-Big Ten honors as a senior. A third-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles, Luken enjoyed a six-year NFL career. ... Ken Long (1972-73, 75) was a second-team All-Big Ten tackle who was drafted in the second round by Detroit in 1976. ... Defensive tackle Marcus Jackson (1976-79) was one of the standouts on Leon Burnett's "Junk Defense" that helped Purdue reach three bowl games. ... Offensive tackle Brandon Gorin (1997-2000) was a three-year starter who would go on to win two Super Bowl rings as a member of the New England Patriots.
No. 78
The pick: Matt Light
Long before he became one of Purdue's most distinguished NFL players, Light was a tight end when he first arrived on campus in 1996. When Joe Tiller took over the following season, Light redshirted and bulked up for the move to left tackle, where he started the next 37 games. In 2000, he was a first-team All-Big Ten selection for the conference champions.
New England made him a second round draft pick in 2001 and over the next 11 seasons, Light started 153 of 155 games, earned three Super Bowl rings, three Pro Bowl appearances and was selected to the Patriots' 50th anniversary team.
Honorable mention: Fred Hecker (1931-33) was a three-year starter at halfback and team MVP in 1933. ... Running back John Drake (1934-36) still holds the third-best single season rushing average (6.1 yards) in school history. He was first-team All-Big Ten and Purdue MVP in 1936 and was drafted first by the then-Cleveland Rams in 1937.
No. 79
The pick: Gene Mruczkowski
The last member of Joe Tiller's 1998 recruiting class turned out to be a gem. As a redshirt freshman he started all 12 games at left guard and was chosen a second-team Freshman All-American by The Sporting News. Mruczkowski shifted to center in 2001 and started all 49 games he played as a Boilermaker.
Undrafted, Mruczkowski made the New England Patriots roster in 2003 and earned two Super Bowl rings in his six seasons as a reserve lineman.
Honorable mention: Bill Hitchcock (1986-89) played both defensive and offensive tackle at Purdue. His 6-6, 290-pound frame helped him make the Seattle Seahawks in 1990 despite being an eighth-round pick. ... Joe Krupa (1952-55) was a four-year starting tackle thanks to Korean War eligibility rules. He would go on to be a second-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers, for whom he played nine seasons. ... Offensive tackle Doug Isbell (1982-84) was one of several Lafayette Jeff graduates to start for the Boilermakers in the 1980s.
No. 80
The picks: Dave Young and Paul Moss
Other than No. 15, this is one of the deepest talent positions in Purdue history.
Young (1977-80) was the first tight end to lead the nation in pass receptions, averaging 6.1 per game during his consensus All-American season in 1980. He left Purdue as the top receiver in Big Ten history and one of the most heralded Boilermakers (first-team All-Big Ten 1979-80 and team MVP in 1979). He was drafted in the second round by the New York Giants in 1981.
Moss (1930-32) was a two-time All-American and first-team All-Big Ten end. As a member of the football Pittsburgh Pirates, Moss led the NFL in receiving as a rookie in 1933.
High honorable mention: Bernie Flowers (1950-52) earned consensus All-America honors as a senior end after setting school records with 43 receptions for 603 yards and seven touchdowns.
Brian Alford (1994-97) was the perfect wide receiver for Joe Tiller's offense, setting career highs in catches (67) and yards (1,228) on his way to All-American honors. He graduated as the all-time leader in receiving yards (3,029) and receiving touchdowns (31); the latter is still a record.

Kenny Thompson is an award winning journalist who writes a weekly column for Sagamore News Media