Siemian stepping up for Northwestern

Northwestern sophomore quarterback Trevor Siemian isn't the starter by definition, but he isn't a backup, either. Instead, Siemian has led the Wildcats in numerous important situations this season, helping the team to a 2-0 record.

Surrounded by cameras and microphones, Trevor Siemian was asked which NFL quarterback he models his game after.

Siemian paused with a hesitant smile, before offering no answer. The sophomore quarterback surely wasn't struck by nerves by a few reporters. Not much can shake Siemian.

"Trevor has definitely been one to take the bull by the horns," said receiver Rashad Lawrence, a teammate of Siemian's in high school.

At the beginning of the season, head coach Pat Fitzgerald wasted no time in naming junior quarterback Kain Colter as the team's starter. For Siemian, that news was disappointing, but not discouraging.

Siemian accepted his role as 'quarterback 1A' for the Wildcats, but entered the season preparing as if he were the starter.

Not quite the case. During the season-opener, he was called upon to lead Northwestern down the field for a game-winning drive against Syracuse. Same for the home-opener against Vanderbilt.

The Wildcats are 2-0. That's grabbing the bull by the horns.

"Everybody wants to rise to the occasion when it presents itself," Siemian said. "You want to seize to the moment."

The poise shown by Siemian was nothing new for Lawrence, who saw it each game with Olympia High School.

After the go-ahead touchdown against Vanderbilt, Lawrence approached the quarterback and said, "this is kind of your thing." Siemian responded with a laugh.

"I wouldn't say it's my thing," Siemian said. "But I'm comfortable in it."

Don't call it a quarterback controversy, nor is it a problem. Northwestern's two-quarterback system is different than others, and Fitzgerald wouldn't have it any other way.

"Everybody feels great about our quarterback situation, having two guys that we can win with," said the Wildcats' head coach.

Siemian may not be the starter, and he isn't the backup. What is his role, then?

"I don't really get worried about that," said Siemian. "I just get ready to play."

Whenever the Wildcats need Siemian, he'll be ready to go.

"I'm going to be taking the first snap to the last snap," he said. "If I prepare any other way, I'm going to be in trouble."

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers for Big Red Report, and currently covers the Northwestern Wildcats and Chicago Cubs. He currently resides on Chicago's north side.
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