Persa not on popular Heisman Trophy Watch List

The popular website Heismanpundit.com released its 2011 Heisman Trophy Watch List on Tuesday, and arguably the best player in the Big Ten isn't on it.

Dan PersaICONNorthwestern QB Dan Persa

Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa, who ruptured his Achilles on a game-winning touchdown pass late in the season against Iowa, was witheld from the very early preseason list. The website states that it will consider other players for future lists, as well as deleting current players, as the season progresses.

The 2011 winner will be announced in New York on Saturday, Dec. 10.

Having seen half of Persa's games in person in 2010, there's no question that the dual-threat signal-caller was the best player in the Big Ten. He was essentially Northwestern's main running back option, making plays both with his feet and his arm. He completed 73.5 percent of his passes for 2,581 yards with 15 touchdowns against just four interceptions last season. On the ground, he added nine scores.

While Persa is ahead of schedule in his rehab from the injury, doctors have not cleared him to participate in NU's spring practice.

Here is the Heisman Watch list in alphabetical order:

Montee Ball, Jr., RB, Wisconsin

Matt Barkley, Jr., QB, USC

Justin Blackmon, Jr., WR, Oklahoma State

Dayne Crist, Sr., QB, Notre Dame

Knile Davis, Jr., RB, Arkansas

Michael Dyer, So., RB, Auburn

Robert Griffin, Jr., QB, Baylor

Ronnie Hillman, So., RB, San Diego State

LaMichael James, Jr., RB, Oregon

Landry Jones, Jr., QB, Oklahoma

Marcus LattimoreICONAs a freshman, RB Marcus Lattimore gave South Carolina a much-needed boost to the rushing attack.

Marcus Lattimore, So., RB, South Carolina

Andrew Luck, Jr., QB, Stanford

Taylor Martinez, So., QB, Nebraska

Bryant Moniz, Sr., QB, Hawaii

Kellen Moore, Sr., QB, Boise State

Aaron Murray, So., QB, Georgia

Trent Richardson, Jr., RB, Alabama

Denard Robinson, Jr., QB, Michigan

Geno Smith, Jr., QB, West Virginia

Darron Thomas, Jr., QB, Oregon

Brandon Weeden, Sr., QB, Oklahoma State

James White, So., RB, Wisconsin

Email dave.miller@nationalfootballpost.com or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

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