IU Targets Michigan QB Siller

Indiana was one of the first to offer a scholarship to elite Michigan quarterback Justin Siller, who threw for nearly 2,000 yards and ran for another 500 while leading St. Mary Prep to a 11-1 record last season...

Indiana has identified the quarterback it wants for its 2007 recruiting class.

That person is Justin Siller, a 6-3, 195-pounder from St. Mary Prep in Orchard Lake, Mich. A versatile athlete who threw for 1,900 yards and ran for another 500 as a junior, Siller earned all-conference and all-area honors a season ago and is a player the Indiana staff targeted and offered early.

"The interest from (Indiana) started early on," Siller said. "I believe they were the first school to offer me…Coach (Matt) Canada and all the coaches are great people. Every time I talk with Coach Canada he asks how I'm doing, what's the recruiting process like, how my workouts are going. He's very down to earth and very interested in me as a person and as a football prospect. I really like that.

"They've shown a lot of interest from the start, and I really appreciate that."

While Indiana doesn't necessarily have the recent success to point to when trying to convince Siller that Bloomington is the right place for him to be, it does have something else that it's tried to stress with Siller and the other recruits it's targeting for this year's class.

"They just try to sell you on the people there," Siller said. "They say they have great people there, which makes it a great place to be."

The Hoosiers might have been the first to offer, but Siller's list has since grown significantly. He said he has seven scholarship offers to date, including ones from Louisville and Big Ten foes Northwestern, Illinois and Minnesota. He attended football camps this summer at Michigan and Ohio State and added offers from Toledo and Bowling Green as well after his performances.

There was a time when Siller said he was certain he wanted to get his decision out of the way before the start of his high school season, but now he's not so sure he'll be able to do that.

"I'm really not close to making a decision right now," Siller said. "I'm thinking about Northwestern, Louisville, Ohio State, Indiana and the other schools that have offered me."

Once the time comes to make a decision, though, Siller says he does have some criteria that he'll use to select his college destination.

"I want to like the coaching staff and get along with them," Siller said. "I want to like the coaches as people as well as coaches. I also want to find somewhere I can go and get my degree and still play football and have fun while doing it."

Siller also envisions having fun during his senior season at St. Mary's. A year ago he helped lead the squad to an 11-1 record and a No. 1 state ranking for much of the season. After a 9-0 regular season, St. Mary's advanced to the third round of the state playoffs before bowing out to Birmingham Brother Rice, 17-8.

"As a team, I think we are good enough to be a state championship contender," Siller said. "We really could accomplish that. Individually, I don't really have any specific goals, just to win a state championship with my team, and enjoy my last year of high school football."

Siller anticipates being a big part of St. Mary's march this season, and not only in terms of production.

"The leadership for the team has sort of always fallen to me, but as a senior I think it falls to me even more not only on offense but the whole team," Siller said. "Before maybe I'd have to just run the offense, be a leader on that side of the ball, but now it's time to step up as a leader all around the field."

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