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54 Days to Purdue Football: Mike Zeigler

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The transfer from Southern Illinois could surprise at defensive end.

NCAA Football: Purdue at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Transfers from smaller colleges can often make an unexpected impact. That is today’s player, as he is a walk-on with experience from another school.

Mike Zeigler – Jr.

Springfield, IL (Southern Illinois University)

6’4”, 256 pounds

Defensive End

2017 Projection: Reserve at defensive end

Zeigler technically had to sit out last season after joining the team as a walk-on since he was transferring in from Southern Illinois. He is the son of former Purdue player Mark Zeigler. Here is an article on why he transferred:

The Southern Illinois redshirt freshman will transfer after wrapping up the semester in Carbondale, and he'll make his way northeast to Purdue. That's where his dad Mark. Zeigler (SHG '72) played -- as well as Miami (Fla.) -- before suffering a career-ending injury.

For Michael, a 253-pound biology major, it came down to a desire to play at the college game's highest level. He'll have to sit out a year, but he'll still have three years of eligibility and will get a chance to bulk up for the physical play of Big Ten ball.

Zeigler hopes to make an impact at defensive end, where we need new terrifying players to cause havoc on opposing quarterbacks. In high school Zeigler won consecutive Class 5A state championships at Sacred Heart Griffin HS. His teams went a combined 29-0 with him as a starter and he played both offensive and defensive line. In 2014 he led the team in tackles.