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Purdue football: Akeem Shavers happy to lead Boilermakers into his home state

by Jenni Carlson Published: December 31, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Texas — Akeem Shavers can't earn a commission from Purdue's ticket office.

A thank you card might be in order, though.

“I know Purdue made a pretty penny off my family and friends,” he said, laughing.

That's because Purdue's leading rusher came home to play his final college game. He is from Texarkana, Texas, and finishing his senior season Tuesday in the Heart of Dallas Bowl provided a unique opportunity.

It's not often that a player who chooses a school in another part of the country gets to finish his career back in his home state.

Shavers and the Boilermakers knew there was a good chance their bowl would take them south. Texas, Florida and Arizona were among the likely landing spots. But when Shavers saw Purdue's name pop up with the Heart of Dallas Bowl during ESPN's selection show, he couldn't believe his luck.

“I can't explain how good it feels to be back in Texas for my last game,” he said. “You really want to set it up to end this way. It just worked out.”

Shavers had a hand in making it so.

Purdue had to win its last three games to get bowl eligible, and in beating Iowa, Illinois and Indiana, Shavers had three of his best games of the season. He averaged just under a hundred yards a game and scored a touchdown in each contest.

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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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