Like Boiler like son: Springfield's Michael Zeigler makes 'Big' move

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Like his son Michael, Frank Zeigler (left) is also a Sacred Heart-Griffin graduate who spent time on the Purdue football team. Like his son Michael, Frank Zeigler (left) is also a Sacred Heart-Griffin graduate who spent time on the Purdue football team.

Former Sacred Heart-Griffin football star Michael Zeigler has announced he's continuing his family's legacy.

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.

"It's hard for me to gain weight," he said, "but I've been trying to bulk up, I got to bulk up about 15 or 20 more pounds to get into the competitiveness of the Big Ten, but I think with that year that they're going to give me next year I can do that."

Purdue has produced a handful of ends, both defensive and offensive, that have gone on to play in the NFL. It's a list that includes Cliff Avril and Ryan Kerrigan on defense and Dustin Keller on offense. But Zeigler's priority will be adding weight first, and his position will be determined once he's in the swing of things.

"They throw quite a few passes during the game," Zeigler said, "and they said that my blocking ability is very strong and they can just work on my route running and use me that way."

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