Sophomore quarterback Trevor Siemian isn't ready to settle for second-string; he's not backing down without a battle.
"I'm trying to be the starter," said Siemian. "I'm trying to compete every day. I don't know if there's ever been a quarterback that doesn't want to be the starter."
Through Northwestern's first three preseason practices, Siemian has looked strong; showing significant improvements. That follows a freshman season in which he completed 16 of 26 passes, including three touchdowns, while appearing in eight games.
Siemian's determination to win the starting position drew the admiration of head coach Pat Fitzgerald.
"I like that Trevor [Siemian] wants to be the starter," Fitzgerald stated during Northwestern's Media Day. "You'd be a little disappointed if any guy in the backup position didn't feel that way."
Just because Siemian may not be at the top of Northwestern's depth chart, it doesn't necessarily mean he won't see the field. NU has often utilized a two-quarterback system; most recently, Colter working in a platoon with Dan Persa.
Fitzgerald tabbed Siemian as '1B' on Northwestern's quarterback depth chart. That idea didn't thrill him too much.
"It is what it is," Siemian said. "Whatever's best for the team."
Each practice has provided Siemian an opportunity to impress the coaches. He regularly works in with the first-team offense during each workout, though that is normal with any football team.
With each rep, Siemian hopes he can work himself closer to Northwestern's starting quarterback job. However, Colter is making that a challenge.
"We're both doing well, both had good springs," said Siemian. "The coaches are going to do what they're going to do."
With three weeks of practice left for Siemian, he is setting personal goals to sharpen his skills. He listed one objective in particular.
"Just (enhance) my command of the offense," he said. "I'm getting there."
With plenty of practices ahead of him, Siemian isn't going to surrender and accept the backup role just yet. Fitzgerald is satisfied knowing Northwestern's quarterback position is in good hands, either with Colter or Siemian.
"As Trevor continues to evolve and all of the pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place you can never say never," said Fitzgerald. "We're very pleased with where Kain is with his development and taking over a leadership role. ... [Siemian] is ready to play and ready to go so I think we have a good problem here."