He had to take a moment to yell for his son, who had just nailed a base hit in a little league game. But after some cheers, Bob Head took several minutes to chat with Purple Reign about another of his favorite athletes: senior quarterback Trevor Siemian.
Head is the head coach at Olympia High School in Orlando, Fla., where Siemian will start for the third straight season this fall before playing for Northwestern in 2010.
Taking a break from his son's game, Head made it clear he thinks Northwestern scored with Siemian.
"You automatically get a kid who's played a lot of football at the 6A level, to the point where he is a fine-turned quarterback who's ready to play," Head said. "He's played a lot of football. I think Northwestern got a great football player."
Siemian, who is 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds, is the third commit for NU's 2010 class, and the second from Florida along with Deland running back Shontrelle Johnson. Siemian threw for nearly 2,000 yards and 18 touchdowns last season to go five more TDs on the ground.
Head raved about Siemian's decision-making ability, saying that his signal-caller has led the league in passing efficiency for the past two seasons. Head raved about Siemian's arm, too.
"He can throw it through a shower and the ball won't even get wet," Head joked.
(Siemian's response: "I don't know about that, but I can sling it around a little bit.")
Head also said that Siemian – who received offers from Tulane, Syracuse, Rutgers and about 10 others – is a role model. The coach couldn't believe it when, after a 2 a.m. return from NU's Junior Day a few weeks ago, Siemian was in the weight room at 8:30 the next morning, pumping iron.
"He went to Northwestern," Head recalled, "gets home at 2 o'clock in the morning, and he's in there at 8:30 because he doesn't want anyone thinking he's getting special treatment. You could get some all-state quarterbacks who would say, ‘Hey, I'm not going to get up at 8 and work out with everyone else.' But he's not like that. He's a great, great, great kid."
So great, Head says, the he often doubles as team chauffeur for some teammates who don't have cars. Fitting, because Head trusts Siemian with the keys to the team too.
"A lot of times, the offensive coordinator just says, ‘Trevor, you take it.'"
Along with playing in the Big Ten, Head said that – as is the case with most NU commits – academics played a big role in Siemian's decision.
"He could got o a lot of schools that may have a better football program," Head said. "But he wants that academic environment, the prestigious academics. He wants guys in the locker room who have just as much character as he has."