Dan Persa
Persa before the first game of the 2011 season for Northwestern.
No. 7     
Personal information
Date of birth: (1988-11-20) November 20, 1988 (age 31)
Place of birth: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Career information
College: Northwestern
Undrafted in 2012
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
Career highlights and awards
* First-team Coaches' All-Big Ten honors (2010)

Daniel Vaughn "Dan" Persa (born November 20, 1988) is a former American college football quarterback who played for the Northwestern Wildcats. He attended Liberty High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.


Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Dan Persa
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Liberty High School 6 ft 2 in (188 cm) 201 lb (91 kg) 4.58 Jun 23,
Scout:2/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 71 (QB)   Rivals: 22 (QB), 33 (PA)
‡ Refers to 40 yard dash
Note: In many cases, Scout and Rivals may conflict in their listings of height, weight and 40 time.
In these cases, an average of the two was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Persa committed to Northwestern University on June 23, 2006.[1] He chose Northwestern over football scholarships from the University of Akron, the University of Connecticut, Temple University, and the West Virginia University.[2]

College careerEdit


Persa became Northwestern's starting quarterback in 2010 following Mike Kafka's graduation. In the season-opener against Vanderbilt, Persa went 19-for-21 and passed for three touchdowns. In week 2 against the Illinois State Redbirds, Persa went 19-for-23 and passed for 240 yards and two touchdowns.[3]

On November 13 against the Iowa Hawkeyes, Persa went 32-for-43 for 318 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. After throwing a 20-yard touchdown pass to Demetrius Fields to win the game in the fourth quarter, Persa suffered an Achilles tendon rupture that required season-ending surgery to repair the injury. Evan Watkins replaced him at quarterback for the remainder of the season.[4] Persa finished the season with 2,581 passing yards and 15 touchdowns.[5]

In the 2010 season Persa set the Big Ten single-season record for completion percentage at 73.5%.[6]


Northwestern started a campaign for Persa for the Heisman Trophy before the 2011 season by promoting the slogan "Persa Strong" on billboards in Bristol, Connecticut, and Chicago. Bruce Feldman of had called Persa the strongest quarterback in the country.[7] Persa bench pressed 365 pounds (166 kg), squatted 520 pounds (240 kg), and hang cleaned 315 pounds (143 kg).[8]

He sat out the 2011 season-opener against Boston College on September 3, with Kain Colter starting in his place.[9] Northwestern took Persa's Heisman billboards down on September 9; the University said that the billboard campaign was scheduled to end after one month and it had nothing to do with his injury.[10] He missed the next two games of the season, and, as a result of the injury, stayed in the passing pocket more than he did in 2010.[11] Following the season he participated in the 2012 East–West Shrine Game on January 21, 2012.[11]

Professional careerEdit

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
5 ft 11⅛ in 210 lb 4.57 s 1.59 s 2.72 s 4.36 s 7.11 s 32 in 8 ft 11 in

After going undrafted in the 2012 NFL Draft, Persa received a tryout with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the team's rookie mini-camp in May 2012.[11] He injured his ankle during a practice, and the Indianapolis Colts medical team that examined him also diagnosed him with a second Achilles tear that required surgery.[11] The surgery prevented him from playing in 2012.[11]


  1. "Dan Persa". Retrieved 2011-10-07.
  2. "Dan Persa". Retrieved 2011-10-07.
  3. Hine, Chris (September 11, 2010). "Persa excellent again in NU's 37-3 victory". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-10-09.
  4. Rittenberg, Adam (November 13, 2010). "QB Dan Persa done for season". Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  5. Powers, Scott (July 29, 2011). "Persa gains mental toughness from injury". Retrieved 2011-08-03.
  6. "#7 Dan Persa". Northwestern University Athletics. August 26, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-26.
  7. Greenstein, Teddy (July 30, 2011). "'Persa Strong' billboards in Chicago, Bristol for NU QB". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2011-07-31.
  8. Rittenberg, Adam (August 23, 2011). "Dan Persa is Northwestern's iron man". Retrieved 2011-08-26.
  9. Rittenberg, Adam (September 3, 2011). "Dan Persa to sit against BC". Retrieved 2011-09-03.
  10. "NU replaces Persa's Heisman billboard". Chicago Tribune. September 9, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Wogenrich, Mark (June 2, 2012). "Another injury, another surgery and another comeback for Persa". Retrieved 2012-07-14.

External linksEdit

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