It would be impossible for the starting quarterback at Don Bosco to avoid the spotlight, but junior Gary Nova is doing much more than filling that spot on the depth chart.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound quarterback will lead Don Bosco, the nation's No. 2 high school football team, into battle against St. Peter's Prep on Friday in a game that is sure to create a buzz throughout the state of New Jersey and the high school football landscape nationwide.
While he is surrounded by plenty of talent, Nova has made big strides since last year and is elevating his game with each passing week. On the year he has a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 15-to-2, so he's avoiding mistakes just as his coaches would want.
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"Things are going pretty good," he explained. "I'm learning with every game that passes by. The game is starting to slow down. I think my footwork in the pocket has improved, and I just have a better feel for working the pocket. I'm staying in there and not rushing out, and I'm trying to keep my head down field instead of looking to run. I'm trying to give it to Tony Jones instead of doing it myself."
With a few games left in the regular season Don Bosco is 7-0, so they'll be looking to keep their perfect record intact the rest of the way.
Lately Nova has been receiving interest from lots of schools, including Kansas State, UCLA, Georgia, Louisville, Rutgers, Boston College, Virginia, Syracuse and UConn.
"I don't think any of them have come close to offers, but Rutgers, Boston College, Kansas State and UCLA are showing a lot of interest.
"I actually went to one of Rutgers games about three weeks ago against Pittsburgh. I met coach (Greg) Schiano and I hung out with some of the coaches while I was there.
Nova believes that will be the only trip on his schedule until the end of his football season.