Arizona defensive lineman Dan Pettinato, a selection for the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Carson, California who is playing for the American team, is ready to prove his final collegiate season for the Wildcats, in which they went to the Pac-12 title game, was no fluke.
After putting up just 60 tackles and two sacks combined in his first three years, Pettinato had a tremendous senior season, with 44 tackles and four sacks. Listed at 6’4”, 277 pounds, Pettinato, whose hometown is Grand Valley in California, has scheme and position versatility, as he played in Arizona’s 3-3-5 defense that requires linemen to take up multiple players, but still values the coaching he is getting during the week of practices, which include defensive line coaches Dwaine Board (American) and Jeff Zgonina (National), who both played in the NFL.
“These guys are experienced, they all played in the NFL so they have so much to offer,” said Pettinato. “So we’re out here just to pick out their brain, get to know everything that they know.”
Pettinato told Pro Player Insiders’ Emma Roll that the first day was “a little weird” with new players and coaches, but he has been able to get used to everyone very quickly.
“Maybe not familiar with all these faces, but after spending time at the hotel, we get to know them,” said Pettinato. “And then out here, on the field we’re enemies but off the field we’re cool.”
Following the game on Saturday, Pettinato well go to Phoenix, Arizona to train at the Fischer Institute, whose clients have included Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall and former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner. Pettinato says his schedule has opened up since he is done with school, so he is able to train a few times a day.
“A lot more laid-back without school,” said Pettinato. “It’s just training, so i’m training a few times a day and then i’m done for the rest of the day. Then it’s Netflix or work out more.”
Being that he was at the University of Arizona, Pettinato says he wore flip flops, shorts, and short-sleeved shirts year round. He also said he would love to go to Hawaii because he knows people there, his favorite color is red, he has been nicknamed both Dan the Man and Lieutenant Dan, and he listens to rap to get himself “going”.
Pettinato may seem relaxed off the field, but there’s no doubt he takes his football future seriously, and will put everything he can into it.
About the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl
The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl is a premiere post-season all-star game for draft-eligible college players. The week-long schedule provides participants with a first-class professional experience while introducing them to the business of the National Football League.
Founded in 2012, the annual game gives prospective NFL players the best opportunity to showcase their talents to potential employers and fans. In 2013, scouts from every NFL club and other professional leagues attended the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl’s practices and game. Nearly 100 scouts not only watched the live practices and game but also conducted player interviews and reviewed tape. Peak television ratings for the 2013 game surpassed the East-West Shrine game and bested the Senior Bowl in overall impressions. The 2013 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl was ESPN’s highest-rated collegiate program on game day.
In 2014, more than 140 NFL Scouts, Player Personnel Staff, GMs and Head Coaches attended the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl practices and game. Multiple other professional football leagues had representatives on hand as well.
Participants in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl have the unique opportunity to network with and learn from current and former NFL players. These veterans give players first-hand insight on what it takes to win on and off of the field.
More stories you might like