Gary Kubiak finally settled one of the remaining quarterback battles in the NFL, declaring that Trevor Siemian will be starting for the Denver Broncos on Thursday, Sept. 8 over Mark Sanchez and Paxton Lynch. Yes, you read that correctly—Trevor Siemian, he of Northwestern(!) football fame. This makes him the first former Northwestern quarterback to start in Week 1 of the NFL season since Otto Graham in 1955.
Many are likely wondering ‘who on earth is this person and why is he starting an NFL game?’ But fear not! Some SI.com staffers—who also happened to attend Northwestern and have more than once donned purple to root for the Wildcats—are here to provide an introductory lesson on the QB by sharing some of their on (and mostly off-field) memories of the former Wildcat and current Bronco.
He led NU to a shocking victory in South Bend
“It was a few days after the Ohio State game—yes, the Ohio State game, no other description needed—and I was responding to Northwestern's heartbreaking loss by ingesting several thousand calories worth of Edzo's Burger Shop, an Evanston favorite.
So too, apparently, was Trevor Siemian. I'm not going to definitively link the greasy plate of fries in front of him with our 35–6 loss to Wisconsin the following Saturday, but there's no denying the fact that Northwestern was 4–1 before I saw Siemian at Edzo's and 1–6 after.
Either way, Trevor clearly digested in time for the Notre Dame game in November 2014. He was brilliant, leading Northwestern to a shock 43–40 overtime victory in South Bend. His final statistics aren't particularly impressive—30-for-48 for 284 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions—but they're misleading, as Northwestern managed to drop several great passes from the quarterback. Had I been in Evanston after that win, I would have celebrated by....yep, ingesting several thousand calories worth of Edzo's. I hope Trevor did too.” — Stanley Kay
Spotted at Super Bowl Media Day
“Trevor Siemian had a few huge moments on the field wearing purple (the game-winning drive against Syracuse in 2012! The Notre Dame game in 2014!), but much of his college career was spent running the offense's passing plays while sharing time with Kain Colter, fending off injuries and working behind a lackluster offensive line.
Though I do remember spotting Trevor at Super Bowl 50 media day, wandering the floor while trying not to get in the way of video tripods and reporters filing on deadline. Since I didn't overlap with him in Evanston, I made an effort to go up and introduce myself, and as we chatted a bit about Northwestern's success in 2015 (the Outback Bowl notwithstanding...), he seemed somewhat relieved to not have to answer questions about the upcoming game or his experience learning from one of the best quarterbacks in football. He even humored me enough to take this shot:”
— Bette Marston
He is a huge Dave Matthews fan
“My favorite Siemian on-field memory is probably from the 2012 Minnesota game, when he completed only one of his seven passes for four yards and it was not at all his fault. Obsessed with platooning him and Kain Colter, Coach Fitz only trotted Siemian onto the field in the most obvious passing situations, and the Gophers defense teed up on him to absolutely no one’s surprise. This game was so disastrously boring, one media member paid a Daily Northwestern staffer $20 to acquire food from a nearby Buffalo Wild Wings during the second half.
Off the field? It has to be this Q&A Siemian did with ESPN in June 2014, when he claimed to be a huge Dave Matthews fan. As someone who has been to something like 15 Dave Matthews concerts, I was initially excited to share this with Trevor, until he said his favorite song was “Funny the Way It Is.” Trevor, my man. If you’re going to be one of us, you need to pick a deeper cut than that. Have you even listened to “The Idea of You?” What about the ever-popular, last-verse-will-still-make-you-cry-in-a-private-moment “Warehouse?” Picking “Funny the Way It Is” is like picking “Gold Digger” as your favorite Kanye song. Get that pop stuff out of here.” — Rohan Nadkarni
He took a class called “Plant-People Interactions”
“I don’t want to say I wasn’t a football fan in college, but should preface this with the admission I once fell asleep in the East Lansing press box for more than one quarter while Le’Veon Bell ran roughshod over the Wildcats defense in a game I recently learned that Northwestern won. So I don’t remember many specific Siemian moments, because he platooned with Kain Colter a lot and was extraordinarily average much of the time.
I did, however, once take a large lecture class called “Plant-People Interactions,” in which I stared aimlessly at the back of Trevor’s head while taking quizzes about different types of algae. There was also the time Northwestern lost to Michigan when Trevor fell on his ass while attempting a pass on a two-point conversation to win the game. Otto Graham is begging for a séance.” — Jeremy Woo