For NFL, Persa would try another position
BY TINA AKOURIS firstname.lastname@example.org March 8, 2012 11:04PM
Updated: April 10, 2012 11:49AM
Dan Persa is known as a quarterback, but the former Northwestern star said he’s willing to try another position to make an NFL roster.
“I’ll do whatever I can to make a team,” Persa said. “I’ve played other positions [wide receiver] before. Obviously, every team is looking at me as a quarterback first, but it’s good to have a multi-purpose guy on your roster. It helps save roster spots, so I think that’s another thing I bring to the table. I haven’t [run any routes], but I’ll do whatever they ask.”
Persa was one of 10 former Wildcats to work out at the team’s annual pro timing day Thursday at the Nicolet Center. And the timing day offered Persa a chance to show scouts that he can be an NFL-caliber quarterback.
Even though Persa said numerous times last season that he was healthy, he admitted at timing day that he’s still not 100 percent. Persa strained his right calf muscle last summer while rehabilitating from a ruptured Achilles tendon. The injury forced Persa to miss the first three games, and he didn’t play until the Illinois game Oct. 1.
“I don’t have any restrictions or anything, but I’m working back to where I was before I got hurt,” Persa said.
“I know I’m not the tallest guy in the world [at 6-1], but I just stress to them to keep looking at the tape. I thought I had two pretty solid years, especially when I was 100 percent healthy. Then this year, basically playing on one leg, I thought I was still pretty effective. I just tell them to look at the tape and evaluate the throws that I can make.”
Coach Pat Fitzgerald said 26 NFL teams were represented at NU’s timing day, and the highlight was receiver Jeremy Ebert running the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds.
“All the guys did really well, but I think Jeremy really helped himself out [with that time],” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald said cornerback Jordan Mabin worked out for the scouts and is making progress from a torn labrum in his right shoulder and a torn pectoral muscle. Mabin suffered the injury in the last regular-season game against Michigan State.
Receiver Charles Brown, defensive linemen Vince Browne and Jack DiNardo, offensive lineman Al Netter, safeties David Arnold and Brian Peters and tight end Drake Dunsmore also participated.