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A college sports blog from The Oakland Press, dedicated to covering Michigan and Michigan State athletics as well as former Oakland County athletes at other schools.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Siller's versatility may pay off for Purdue — it may have to

When Orchard Lake St. Mary's grad Justin Siller was reinstated to the Purdue football team last spring, the former quarterback was going to have to switch positions in order to contribute, considering the Boilermakers had Miami (Fla.) transfer Robert Marve tabbed as the next signalcaller to come through the 'Cradle of Quarterbacks.'

Siller did that willingly, joining what looked like a stacked wide receiver corps.

Four weeks into the season, and injuries may force the 6-foot-4, 223-pound Siller — who'd been flip-flopped from QB to RB and back to QB as a reshirt freshman, because of injuries — to have to change positions again.

Only question? Which position.

Marve is out after an MRI Monday revealed a torn ACL. One of his two backups, Caleb TerBush, fell victim to academics, leaving just redshirt freshman Rob Henry. The running back situation is no better, as last year's leading rusher, Ralph Bolden, tore an ACL in spring practice. At one point, the Boilermakers were down to just one healthy tailback, Dan Dierking.

Shoot, Purdue probably could use him still at the wideout position, which is without one of the Big Ten's best receivers, Keith Smith, who tore up both major ligaments in his knee two weeks ago.

"We can go further down the depth chart or go to an older player that's played some," Purdue coach Danny Hope was quoted by the West Lafayette Journal and Courier as saying about the quarterback position. "We might have to from a necessity standpoint."

Earlier this week, the Journal and Courier reported that Siller hadn't been approached about making a switch. It may just be a matter of time.

"If the coaches feel like me going to quarterback is the best thing for our team, then yes," Siller said. "Right now, I'm still focused on receiver. Rob Henry and (freshman) Sean Robinson are fully capable of leading the team."

UPDATE: Siller won't be contributing at any position anytime soon, according to Hope. On the Big Ten conference call on Tuesday (Oct. 5), Hope said that Siller would likely be out 3-6 weeks with a sprained foot.

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