Northwestern is putting a lot of weight behind its Heisman campaign for quarterback Dan Persa — literally.
As part of Northwestern's promotion, the school is sending selected media members two seven-pound dumbbells that say "PersaStrong.com" on them to advertise the school's Heisman-oriented website. According to the release, each of the weights is seven pounds "in honor of No. 7 Dan Persa's reputation as the strongest pound-for-pound athlete on Northwestern's team and strongest quarterback in the country."
Northwestern is definitely putting a lot of weight on Persa's shoulders, not to mention the school's finances for mailing those packages.
Persa had a standout year in 2010, which culminated in him being named All-Big Ten first-team quarterback. He broke the league's record for completion percentage with 73.5, and passed for 15 touchdowns and just four interceptions before suffering a season-ending ruptured Achilles tendon against Iowa in November.
The campaign also includes billboards strategically placed in Chicago and Bristol, Conn., (home to ESPN) and an information card that will likely be sent out to voters of all the major quarterback and Player of the Year awards.
Despite all of this, Persa is a major longshot for the Heisman, but you have to give Northwestern some credit for taking he initiative the get his name out there. The last two Northwestern players with Heisman hopes were running backs Darnell Autry in 1995 and Damien Anderson in 2000. Autry finished fourth in the voting in '95 and seventh a year later; Anderson finished fifth.
Overall, it's the best Heisman campaign of the summer so far. Baylor sent out a trading card for quarterback Robert Griffin III, and Hawaii made a YouTube video of quarterback Bryant Moniz, but Northwestern's campaign is going to be hard to top.
Even if Persa doesn't win, he'll still have — pound-for-pound — one of the most original campaigns to date.