OT Nick Siler is No. 8 for Air Force

The Air Force Falcons 2012 roster features 10 offensive linemen. All 10 players are listed at 260 pounds or lighter.

At 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds, offensive tackle Nick Siler (Henderson, Texas/Henderson) has the prototype size for an Air Force lineman. After visiting the campus over the weekend and weighing all the school could offer him, Siler decided to give the Falcons his verbal commitment on Monday.

Siler is Air Force’s eighth commitment of the 2013 recruiting class. He chose the Falcons over offers from Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Stephen F. Austin and McNeese State.

“They don’t have the big, huge offensive linemen like everyone else does. They go a little bit light,” Siler said. “Anywhere else, I’d probably be a guard, but that was one of the reasons why I wanted to go there. I didn’t want to put on 50 pounds in a year.”

Ironically, putting on weight may not have been a problem for Siler. Since his freshman season, Siler has put on nearly 100 pounds with the help of former Henderson strength and conditioning coach Robert Ellis, a former pro baseball pitcher who also coached in the New York Mets minor league system. Ellis coached three years at Henderson before moving to Central Heights.

“My freshman year, I weighed around 160 pounds. My sophomore year, I weighed 184,” Siler said. “Right now, I’m at 255. Really, I just went in the weight room with my strength and conditioning coach. I credit all the weight I gained and success I have to him. He really got me to work hard.”

Siler earned first-team, all-district honors as a junior, recording 12 pancake blocks and 48 knockdowns. As a tackle, he only allowed one sack in 2011.

Siler said Air Force’s scholastic advantages meshed with the athletic opportunities, which made the Falcons an easy choice. He was recruited by offensive coordinator Blane Morgan.

“It was definitely the future; it wasn’t just for football,” Siler said. “You’ll do five years in the military, and after that, you’ll be able to get a job wherever you want.

“I love the people there. They’re top-quality people, and I thought that was a great thing about it. I love the program and what they’ve got going. I knew I wanted to be a part of it.”