WARREN, Mich. - De La Salle Collegiate alumnus Michael Danna, who helped lead the Pilots to a Division 2 state football championship in 2014, was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday.
As a high school senior, Danna was an all-state special mention from the Associated Press, ranked No. 15 on the Detroit Free Press Fab 50, named to the Free Press, Detroit News, and MLive Dream teams. He was also part of the Detroit News Blue Chip list and All-Metro East first team.
During his senior season, Danna tallied 52 tackles in just nine games. As a junior, he set single-season school records for tackles for loss (20) and sacks (10). He also holds the career sacks mark with 17.5. He will be inducted into the Detroit Catholic League Hall of Fame later this year.
“He was athletic, coachable, a team guy, a great student and he was a leader,” former Pilots coach Paul Verska said. "He was among the youngest seniors on the team. I knew he would continue to get bigger, better, stronger, and develop.”
After being redshirted as a freshman at Central Michigan University, Danna played three seasons for the Chippewas. During that time, he compiled 151 total tackles, 27.5 tackles for loss, and 15 sacks. He was named First Team All-MAC and team MVP, in 2018.
After graduating from CMU with a degree in entrepreneurship, Danna transferred to the University of Michigan. Last fall, he finished with 38 total tackles and three sacks in 13 games.
At Michigan, Danna was reunited with former De La Salle teammate, Tru Wilson, who will play this fall as a graduate transfer at Northern Colorado. Also, Danna played against former prep teammate Drew Besley, who is a defensive lineman at Michigan State.
“We played against each other two years at Central and being able to play against him again when he was at Michigan was a fun experience,” Beesley said. “One thing I learned from Mike was just no matter what the circumstances, keep grinding, and keep working hard. I’m very happy for him.”
Danna is just the second student-athlete in De La Salle history ever selected in the NFL Draft. Keith Karpinski, who starred at Penn State, was taken by the Detroit Lions in the 11th round in 1989.