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Nova Shines at Rutgers Pro Day

Quarterback Gary Nova

Quarterback Gary Nova


Normally, the quarterback of a football team is the main attraction that people come to see. They are the star, the most criticized, the hero, and the one with eyes on him at all times. At Rutgers Pro Day on Mar. 11, quarterback Gary Nova wasn’t in the biggest spotlight, but he performed like he was.

The biggest spotlights belonged to NFL Scouting Combine invitees tight end Tyler Kroft and fullback Michael Burton. Both performed well inside the Indoor Practice Bubble on campus. Nova has more than enough talent, but was snubbed of a Combine invitation. The former Scarlet Knights signal caller started 41 games under center while playing in 46 games during his college career. Coming from state parochial powerhouse Don Bosco Prep where Nova went 24-0 as the starter, he definitely has the pedigree to make it to the NFL.

Nova performed well at the school’s annual “job interview” as head football coach Kyle Flood likes to call it. NFL representatives from all 32 NFL teams were in attendance, and Nova said he feels more like a professional now.

“Part of the process is learning how to become a professional athlete, and the type of choices you make every day,” Nova said. “It’s a full time job. In college you can get lost in that with classes, but you really just learn how to be a professional athlete.” ranks Nova as the No. 18 quarterback prospect in this year’s draft, not even listing him as a 7th round possibility, or undrafted free agent. The Elmwood Park, N.J. native finished his career ranking first in Rutgers history with 73 touchdowns, second in passing yards (9,285) and second with 689 completions.

Nova showed his athletic ability running a 4.61 40-yard dash, which would have placed fourth among quarterbacks at the Combine. It is surprising why he didn’t run more in college.

Nova laughed with a smile after hearing the news saying, “Whew, fastest I ran. Ever.”

The talented senior tallied seven career fourth quarter or overtime comebacks at Rutgers and Kroft and Burton alluded that he performed well at the Combine after running routes and catching passes for him.

“A lot of his passes were point,” Kroft said about Nova. We completed every pass today and I thought as far as placement, I thought it was great.”

Burton said Nova really had some life on the ball saying, “I thought he did an excellent job. I had seen that in the last few weeks, really putting zip on the ball and you can see his lower body has improved. His feet, everything. Coach Fiedler did an awesome job with him and it definitely showed today.”

Nova has been working with former NFL quarterback Jay Fiedler on his mechanics, his motion, the drop-backs, and everything that goes into throwing the ball on any given play.

“Jay (Fiedler) has been great. I think somebody who’s kind of the same size as me, you know, he still moves around great, and if I’m having trouble with something he goes out there and does it and shows me,” Nova said. “It’s great to have and somebody with his journey and he got into the league, and then out, then back in and got an opportunity and made the most of it and really given me great advice along the way.”

The athletic Nova also performed well in other tests including a 34-inch vertical leap, the fastest 3-cone drill of the day at 6.89 seconds and the fastest in the 60-yard shuttle at 11.21 seconds.

Flood talked about Nova and his day.

“The first thing you’re gonna like is, when you put him on a big stage, he performs,” Flood said. “He had some of his biggest moments on some really big stages. He’s got a very talented arm, that’s for sure. Athletically, he looked really good. At the end of the day, his job is to spin the football and he’s got a talented arm. They’re gonna get somebody who can certainly complete the balls.”

The NFL Draft runs April 30-May 2.

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