Purdue Football: Ralph Bolden Could Be Saving Grace for Danny Hope

James EvensCorrespondent IJuly 25, 2011

EUGENE, OR - SEPTEMBER 12:   Ralph Bolden #23 of the Purdue Boilermakers runs the ball against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium on September 12, 2009 in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Last season, Purdue football and Purdue Athletics in general seemed to be losing ACLs faster than Lebron is losing his hair.

Although Robbie Hummel of the basketball team gets most of the attention for these devastating injuries, a lot of people forget that yet another star had this same problem: Ralph Bolden.

Bolden, the speedy, 5'9" running back for the Purdue Boilermakers, was a difference maker for the team in 2009.

He rushed for 935 yards and nine touchdowns, leading the Boilermakers in both categories.

Bolden is able to make such a difference when he is healthy and on the field.

In a split second, he can burst through a hole, find some light and be on his way down the field for a touchdown that makes everyone in Ross Ade Stadium scream.

Bolden will be a junior this season and is looking to make a difference for the Boilermakers, which he is sure to do if he stays healthy.

Bolden's return could not come at a better time for Danny Hope, the third year Purdue coach who has led his team to a record of 9-15. 

As the attendance at football games continues to drop annually, it can only be assumed that Hope will be on the hot-seat if the team does not make great improvement after two disappointing seasons. 

If Bolden can stay healthy and Rob Henry can continue improving, the Boilermakers might make a little noise this season and surprise some teams. But with the schedule that is facing the squad, do not expect a bowl again this season. 

It is good to see Bolden back and in drills, but will he be able to lead Purdue to victory?

Only time will tell, especially since this all depends on a knee that was fixed by the same doctor who failed both Hummel and Robert Marve.

James Evens serves as a National Featured Columnist for college football and basketball, as well as the FC for the Purdue Boilermakers.    Follow him on Twitter or like him on Facebook.