Justin Siller will be one of several Purdue players who will get a start at a new position Saturday against Notre Dame.
After missing last season after being suspended from the university, Siller is itching to get back on the field.
"It was definitely hard to sit out last season. It definitely gave me a greater appreciation for the game of football," Siller said Tuesday. "Saturday when I step out there, I'll probably have a rush of emotions and some nervousness, but all of that will probably change the first snap of the game.
"Going through (the suspension), it was obviously taking forever for it to come, but now Saturday can't come fast enough. It's here now, and I'm just thankful that I made it through. I'm a stronger person for it and just ready to get on with Notre Dame."
Siller is projected to start at one of the receiver spots. He made the switch to the position after coming to Purdue as a quarterback and playing some running back for the Boilermakers.
Siller has made progress, and teammates have seen it.
"I think he's come a long way," quarterback Robert Marve said. "It's a whole different position. At the quarterback position, you see the whole field. It's easy to see. At receiver, you have to stick to what you do, stick to what your corner plays you. I think he's done a great job. He's a heck of an athlete. It's nice when you can throw to a 6-3, 220 guy and his range is great. One of the best go-getters I've seen on the jump ball. When you have a big guy like that, if you just put the ball on his body, he can do the best for you."
Coach Danny Hope said players who convert to receivers initially are surprised with how fatiguing the position can be -- "They cannot believe how much they have to run."
It took Siller some time to get back into football shape after his year off, and Hope said Siller didn't play "fast" when camp started. But Siller is in good condition now and has gotten more of his technique down. Hope talked about "arm swing" when shoving off the ball, and Siller said he had to work on his pad level.
"He's a playmaker that's come a long way since camp started," Hope said. "Very pleased with Justin. I don't think anybody will be surprised. He's a player."