My Favorite College Football Photos Of 2022
This was a weird college football year to say the least. This was the first time in ten years that I was not given a season credential for Purdue. Even in years past when I was making photos for other teams I had a season credential. With that in mind this list is much shorter than in years past. I only photographed three college football games. I always say that the season is short, but when you miss over half of it it suddenly becomes painfully short. The good news is that I found someone to make photos for, and I was in the stadium for the final two games of the season. I am sure that me mentioning not having a pass will be looked on as a bad thing. It is what it is. I only mention it here to explain why there are only photos from a couple of games. This is a special year for the team. As I write this they are preparing to play in the Big Ten Title game. Every season starts with that goal. I am happy that I was able to get in there a couple of times to see this special team.
The countdown starts off with a little gamble by me. In 2013 before I was given a season pass to get into the stadium I made what I called the $70 gamble. I bought a ticket in a spot where I thought the photo would be. The ticket purchase paid off as I sold many copies of that photo as well as getting onto the field at Purdue. This year luckily it costs about half of that to get into the stadium. I picked a spot where I could make a different photo than I have in the past. This gamble paid off again as I sold a few copies of this photo as well. My section was overrun with students so I made my photo and got out of there. It was still well worth the trip. You can still buy this photo with enough time to get it for Christmas. Just click on the photo to be taken to my website where it can be purchased. The beginning of a special season would look great on your wall.
My first time on the field this year at Purdue was for Indiana State. In between stints with Purdue I made many photos for the Sycamores. I went on a few road trips with them, but this was by far my shortest road trip. Heck back then every road trip with the team started with a two hour drive for me. This one was very easy for me. I can’t wait until they come back in 2024. This photo here was picked as the FCS photo of the week. I had no idea it was up for it, but it was a pleasant surprise. From past things like this I know that in reality it means very little, but when you are questioning yourself if you are still any good it does pick moral up quite a bit.
I surprised myself during the game by only accidentally photographing Purdue a couple of times during the game. Here I was a little more intentional. I was behind the Purdue offense making photos of our defenders when I saw that Charlie Jones was going to get the ball. A little tip off led me to focus on him. He was the talk of the town so one photo of him would not hurt.
I really had fun making photos for Indiana State again. I don’t know that I had a negative experience while I was working for them. It was great to see some old friends again pregame. Here is one more photo from that game.
Late in the game placekicker Caleb Krockover came onto the field to kick an extra point. Caleb is a West Side grad that I have photographed for a little while now. Nobody has photographed him more though than his father. I knew that the moment was huge as it was his first game action. I scanned the field to find his father Chad, and I was happy to see that we were opposite each other. After the extra point Caleb was of course excited and congratulating his teammates. With everything involved in the photo this is one of my favorites this year. I am glad that a little luck had me in the stadium when it occurred.
A flyover is always an exciting thing. I still don’t know if I have made a good flyover photo at Purdue yet. This one is okay, but there are things that could be better. It is an exciting moment though, and I am glad that I captured it. With all of the renovations the stadium will undergo in the offseason it is also a good way to document what the stadium looked like this season. Next year we will be making photos of a completely different looking stadium.
Charlie Jones is having an incredible season at receiver for Purdue. If you are a fourth or fifth year senior at Purdue you will have graduated knowing nothing but greatness from the position. You had Rondale Moore, David Bell, and now Charlie Jones to watch play. This doesn’t happen all of the time. At some point you just have to sit back and admire that you are watching something amazing.
During pregame on senior day I was hanging out with the tight ends. Nearly thirty years ago that was the position that I played. Purdue has a pretty good one in Payne Durham as well. I was going for a photo that luckily turned out here. I love the eyes on the ball.
Another flyover meant another spot for a photo. Just as the planes were approaching the flag started to try and fly. I nearly missed the flyover while trying to see just what the flag was going to do. The good news is that this is a high up as the flag went, and they got it under control.
I love the concentration here as TJ Sheffield stretches for a first down. TJ made last years countdown a couple of times so it is cool that I could get him in again.
After the game was over I was photographing players high fiving fans. It was a cold day, but they stayed out to thank the fans that stuck it out. After his lap around the stadium Payne Durham stopped to take it all in. I knew exactly what he was doing. I followed Payne off the field before doing the same thing myself. With any luck I will be back on this field again. This year though taught me that nothing is given. I tried to make the most of my opportunities out there this year.
So there are my favorite photos from this past season. As I said at the beginning it was an interesting one from my perspective. This was a team that did what it had to do to get to the title game though. The eternal optimist in me that always thought Purdue was going to the Rose Bowl every year has returned. There is a path for that to happen now. How cool would that be? These seniors have been through it all at Purdue, and it would be a great send off for them.