May 22, 2006

Persa talks final four

Bethlehem (PA) Liberty quarterback has a narrowed his list of schools to four and he's visited every one of them, so now, all the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder has to do is make his decision.

But it's not quite that easy because there are a couple of complicating factors.

First of all, Persa has offers from only two of his top four - Northwestern and West Virginia. Boston College and Maryland have told Persa that they want to see him perform at one of their camps before they offer a scholarship.

Then, there's the added wrinkle of what position Persa will play. Northwestern and West Virginia are both recruiting Persa as a quarterback, but Boston College sees him as more of a safety, and Maryland is pursuing him as a wide receiver or athlete.

What position would Persa like to play? Well, it's not surprising that Persa would prefer to stay under center if he can. "Obviously, I'd like to play quarterback in college, but I want to get on the field as soon as possible," he said, meaning that he's open to playing any position.

Persa talked to WildcatReport about a few factors that Northwestern has in its favor in recruiting him.

"First of all, it's a great school academically and that's one of the big things I look for," he said. "Plus, it's a great atmosphere. I went up there in the spring and liked it a lot. And they run a perfect offense for the type of quarterback I play."

The perfect offense for Persa is the spread attack, which he runs at Liberty, along with some traditional I-formation thrown in. Last year, the dual-threat quarterback displayed his versatility by throwing for 1,850 yards and running for 830.

At the recent Nike Football Camp at State College, Persa showed that he had the athletic ability to run the spread at the next level. Persa placed in the top ten for quarterbacks in all four events - the 40-yard dash (4.58 seconds), the bench press (14 reps with 185), the vertical leap (31 inches) and the shuttle run (4.22 seconds).

Still, Boston College and Maryland have told Persa that they want to see him run and change direction at their camps to assess his ability to play another position. Persa said that he will make the trip to the Eagles' and Terrapins' camps but he's not sure when. He's going to be making return trips to both Northwestern and West Virginia in June.

As far as a timetable goes, Persa definitely wants to commit before the season starts, preferably in late July or early August.

WildcatReport's Take: Northwestern will have four underclassman quarterbacks on its roster this fall but they would like to add one more in its Class of 2007. The Wildcats currently have offers out to two very similar dual-threat quarterbacks - Persa and Justin Siller of Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary's. Both QBs have Northwestern among their leaders and the Cats would be happy to land either one of them. The player that pulls the trigger first will probably get the scholarship.

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