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Will Trevor Siemian’s Knee Let Him Go Pro?

The former Northwestern quarterback is eyeing an NFL career, but a torn ACL suffered his senior year has halted most offseason workouts.

Trevor Siemian threw for 2,214 yards, seven touchdowns and 11 interceptions as a senior with the Wildcats.   Photo: John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune

Former Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian got the rug pulled out from under him just before he was out the door. During the second-to-last game of his senior season, Siemian tore the ACL in his left knee, ending his year and tenure at NU one game short. All ambitions of leading his team to a career-ending bowl berth flew out the window. Dreams of working out for NFL teams were put on hold.

That’s all changed recently. Siemian will participate in a limited regimen of drop-back passes at Northwestern’s Pro Day in Trienens Hall today. He has his eyes fixed on a pro career, even if he’s still limited in what he can show scouts. He’s met with a handful of teams, such as the Broncos and Bears (watch out, Jay), and he’s been tabbed by a few draft analysts as a sleeper to watch.

He’ll likely be at home in Florida for April’s NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre (catch your need-to-know guide here), but we caught up with the quarterback before his workout to see how his rehab is progressing. An edited transcript follows.

How is the knee feeling?

I saw my doctor earlier this week and he said everything looks good. I’m limited to just drop-back throws right now, which I’ve been doing the last couple weeks and I’ve been comfortable. I’m not going to do anything outside of that.

It’s required a lot of patience, honestly. The first couple months were pretty slow and the rehab is pretty monotonous. It’s kind of been a tricky balance for me so far, but I think I’ve handled it well to this point. These next few months are crucial for me.

Have you always wanted to play in the NFL?

Yeah, absolutely. I think anyone who plays football at the Division I level has aspirations to play in the NFL. That’s the dream for everybody. My process has been a little unique with the ACL injury, but everyone has their own story. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter, it’s just about how you play football. I’m looking forward to getting the opportunity to prove that somewhere.

You’ve met with a few pro teams already and have been tabbed as a name to watch. When you’ve talked with pro coaches, what is the main thing they’ve asked you?

They’ve all been consistent with the fact that they want to see where my knee is at, and how I’m doing on that end. But they’ve asked how I process the game, how I go about breaking down defenses, pre-snap reads and how I manage a system. From a quarterback standpoint, I think they’d ask that whether my knee was healthy or not. And obviously I have to live up to the label of being a Northwestern quarterback [laughs], proving my intelligence to teams.

What’s the biggest thing you’re working on before the draft?

It’s tough for me to say right now. First, I am trying to get healthy. Second, when you’re under pressure and have to move around in the pocket, you often speed up your decision making process. That tends to bring the quality of work down. I think improving that is what separates a lot of the good ones from everybody else. So that’s kind of what I want to work on when I can get back into it.

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