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Trevor Siemian, Northwestern Wildcats football, No. 13

Trevor Siemian isn't Northwestern's starting quarterback, but he's very important as the second head in Northwestern's two-headed QB monster, the one more comfortable airing it out.

Jonathan Daniel
We didn't get around to posting this earlier, but, better late than never, right? 13 days! Trevor Siemian! He's Northwestern's second quarterback, but not a backup, because we do QB 1A and 1B. Anyway, C.J. Bryant is also important, but we might do him tomorrow instead of Cermak Bland. Let's celebrate this 6'3, 210-pound slinger.

Origin myth

Trev's an Orlando kid -- we talked about this with Rashad Lawrence, right? Lawrence was a nice target for Siemian, but Trevor was his team's star. When Olympia won their district championship in 2009, Siemian had 2,494 yards passing with 24 touchdown, completing 67 percent of his throws. He was named Central Florida's Offensive Player of the Year by the Orlando Sentinel. (There are a lot of good football players in Central Florida.) Over his three-year career as a starter, he'd set county records for passing yardage (6,144 yards).

Here's his highlight mix, set to a truly abysmal rap-like song:

What's noteworthy to me about that mix is that I'd really expected it to be Siemian standing in the pocket and unleashing zingers for three minutes, but he's actually making a lot of plays with his feet. He shows the ability to avoid rushers for long enough to get his receivers open, then get that guy the ball.

Siemian was ranked as the No. 39 pro-style QB in the nation by Rivals, No. 33 by Scout, and No. 20 by ESPN, a consensus three-star guy. His offer sheet wasn't crazy -- Syracuse, Duke, and Rutgers stand out amongst some Sun Belt-type squads -- and he chose to pick Northwestern June before his senior year, a week before Lawrence.

At Northwestern

After redshirting in 2010 -- Kain Colter got the call when Dan Persa got hurt -- Siemian made his serious game-time debut against Army when Colter wasn't leading the offense well, tossing a 62-yard touchdown to Jeremy Ebert. He'd play sparingly as a third quarterback, tossing three touchdowns while completing 61.5 percent of his passes.

As a sophomore, it became clear Week 1 that Siemian was a big part of Northwestern's offensive gameplan. While Colter was clearly the starter, there wasn't a game where Siemian didn't run the offense for at least a series. Because Siemian is a better passer than Colter, and because Colter also was going to play occasionally as a wide receiver and somebody else had to throw the ball to him, the two developed into a very clear 1A/1B QB relationship, with no controversy or questioning who was doing what. Sometimes this worked perfectly: Siemian led the team in the two-minute drill on several occasions, with huge touchdowns against Syracuse and Michigan. Sometimes, he got a quick hook -- just one passing attempt against Iowa when Colter was cooking, a brutal 1-for-7 game against Minnesota. Sometimes, it was too predictable. Against Nebraska and Penn State, two Northwestern losses, it was clear that when Siemian came into the game, he would be single-minded, often hammering the ball blindly in Colter's direction. He threw two touchdowns against Nebraska, bu was just 15-for-35 passing, and although he went 21-for-36 against Penn State, he only got 135 yards passing -- pretty dismal yards-per-attempt. All in all, he'd finish with 1,312 yards passing, leading the team by a good margin, six touchdowns, and three picks, while also running for a touchdown.

Career highlight

There's a few options here, but for me, it's his final drive against Cuse. Kain Colter was dinged up, and Northwestern's offense was scuttling after blowing a two-touchdown lead. Siemian got the ball at the 25, and stood tall under pressure. He completed five passes -- and sold a tackle made on him slightly out of bounds, resulting in a 15-yard personal foul that would have been a fourth down. On first and goal from the nine, he had four guys spread wide, and rusher Siriki Diabate was completely unfazed by Mike Trumpy's attempt at cut blocking him. But Siemian held his ground, ignored the rush, and lofted a perfect pass to the back left corner of the end zone that hit Demetrius Fields in stride for the game-winning touchdown. My favorite part of the play remains the Syracuse defensive back's AWWWW DAMMIT reaction after seeing the referee rule Fields got a foot down in bounds, although Fields' point to the heavens and Siemian's bro hug with Kain Colter are both good too.

Anagram of choice

Discovering the Wildcats' true inner selves through spelling

Trevor Siemian, anagrammed, is


Last year Trevor Siemian threw one touchdown at Syracuse, two at Michigan, two at Nebraska, and one at Penn State. He threw zero at Ryan Field. Trevor Siemian is a meaner visitor. (Also considered: "Soviet mariner," which is a boatin' commie, "inertia movers," which is moving stuff that isn't moving, "aversion timer," which is when you do keep track of how long you do something you hate, "movie trainers," which is Ben Stiller's character in "Dodgeball," "invite roamers," which is COME TO MY PARTY FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE, and "overtime rains," which is really hard-working weather, "arrive moisten," which is also true of Trevor Siemian.

Relevant musical selection

"Break Ya Neck," Busta Rhymes

A stretch here, but Busta's birth name is "Trevor Smith." And Busta Rhymes is one of my top five rappers. He's actually had a quietly impressive career -- dude started out in the early 90's rapping with A Tribe Called Quest, and now he's still spitting on Chris Brown songs and whatnot. He's an eccentric weirdo who spits 150 miles an hour.. How can you not love him?

It was honestly difficult picking a song -- I went with "Break Ya Neck" because I've almost perfectly timed his "STOP!" in the middle of each verse even if I can't keep up with the rest, and because THE MUSIC VIDEO FEATURES HIM BREAKING A RAM'S NECK BY HEAD-BUTTING IT.

How he can help

Northwestern needs Trevor Siemian. Although Kain Colter is good at throwing footballs, his arm isn't particularly strong, certainly not as strong as Siemian's. Siemian brings a level to Northwestern's passing game that nobody else does. And yes, his quarterbacking allows Colter to split wide.

I expect Siemian to be used in a very similar manner to the one he was last year. Taking occasional series, being the quarterback in all Northwestern's 2-minute drill situations, but clearly not the starter.

My one worry is one-dimensionality. Northwestern has to remain inventive when Siemian is playing so his appearance in the game isn't a telltale sign Northwestern will be passing the ball. He's got to be able to run -- he can, just not as well as Colter -- and NU has to keep Venric Mark next to him at times so the run is a real threat. But yes, let him air it out.

Depth chart projection

He's the backup, but we know he's really QB 1B.

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