This post is sponsored by RO*TEL
Yeahhhh! It's corporate shill time again! And today it's the good people of Ro*Tel. Tired of merely giving us warm delicious queso, they also have a giveaway on their site that could lead to you getting a bunch of free stuff including a trip to a college football game of your choice, and they just wanted you to know about it, in addition to also giving you warm, delicious queso. So to raise queso awareness, we're going to have a discussion about a good player. Which good player who has been surprisingly good - almost as good as delicious queso by Ro*Tel (sorry, I need to figure out where the appropriate borderline on corporate shilldom is.)
Anyways, hit the jump to find out who we're gonna be talking about here. (Hint: you should be able to guess.)
This was easy. There's been one player who hasn't just surprised me with how good he is, but actually disturbed me and made me mad.
I was expecting Dan Persa to be a relatively bad quarterback. In 2009, he'd looked tentative. Where the year before, Mike Kafka had fulfilled his backup duties in dashing, dramatic fashion, Persa had looked apprehensive to throw the ball. Did he lead us to victory against Iowa? Yeah. With some help from the defense and Mike Kafka, yes he did. Did he inspire confidence doing so? No. I became convinced that the diminutive Pennsylvanian would never be as good as his predecessor. In spring ball, I watched him take shotgun snaps in a four-wide formation over and over again, and time and time again, he'd look flustered for a second, then take off. Yeah, he's fast, I told myself. But that's a gimmick. Kafka was fast. But he needed to develop his actual quarterback credentials to lead NU to a good season.
Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesus Christo was I wrong.
I know there's not a lot you can get out of three games. I know there's even less you can get out when one of those games is against Illinois State. But Dan Persa hasn't just been adequate, he's been one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. I thought he wouldn't have the arm strength to throw the ball downfield. He does. I thought he wouldn't have the vision to repeatedly hammer in the quick routes that have made up Northwestern's offense in recent memory. He does. I thought he'd be indecisive and overall crappy. Instead, he's thrown maybe four bad passes in three games, and the result is that he has yet to throw an interception while having thrown six touchdown passes and run for two more. (Oh, yeah, btdubs, he leads the team in rushing touchdowns, has more yards per carry than the top three running backs on our depth chart, and is only 15 yards away from the team lead in rushing yards despite the fact that he's been sacked a bunch of times.) His completion percentage is 81.6 so far on the season. Eighty. One. Point. Six. That's not an embarrassing GPA to have - by the way, I'm cooking up a GPA/completion percentage info graphic - but it is the highest completion percentage in the nation through three games. In fact, he's the only person above an 80, so, if we're grading on a curve, he should get a 4.0.
I said after the Illinois State game that Dan Persa was somewhere on the scale of great human beings between Mahatma Gandhi and Steven Seagal. And dammit, I stand by that statement. Dan Persa is an American hero. So join the Cult of Persa-nality. And somebody get that man a bowl of spicy queso dip.