Past to Future: Teel On Nova

Mike Teel knows what it is like to come from heralded Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) and be the quarterback at Rutgers, so he knows a bit what Scarlet Knights pledge and Don Bosco Prep signal caller Gary Nova will experience. Teel also had the opportunity to watch Nova on several occassions this season, and gave his scouting report on what Rutgers is getting.

Rutgers got a landmark commitment from quarterback Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) quarterback Gary Nova, who was 24-0 in his two years as a starter with the Ironmen.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound is the first Don Bosco Prep player to commit since quarterback Mike Teel selected the Scarlet Knights.

Teel led Rutgers to three straight bowl wins, and was the quarterback when the Scarlet Knights went 11-2 in 2006. As a Don Bosco Prep graduate, he knows Nova well and has seen him play many times.

After Nova's commitment, Teel spoke to to give a scouting report on Nova:

How well do you know Gary Nova, and have you seen him play much?
I got to know him pretty well this year because I had a chance to go to a lot of his football games because I was around most of the footballs season, and that wasn't the case last year.

The more I got to know him, and the more I got to talk to the coaches up there, and the guys that coached me, the more I found out about Gary and the type of kid he was. As our relationship grew, I kind of threw it out there, not trying to influence him in any way.

I was like, ‘Hey, you're a big-time recruit coming out of one of the biggest schools in the country. There's going to be people pulling you every which way. If you ever need any help or any advice, feel free to give me a shout and I'll try to help you any way I can.'

I was in the that position not too long ago, and I had people promise me stuff, trying to take you out and do this and that. There's a lot of things that goes on behind the scenes that a lot of people don't see. For a high school kid trying to make a decision, it makes it a lot tougher than it should sometimes.

What did you see from him during his senior season?
The offense that Bosco ran is kind of a version of a spread offense. He's kind of unique in the fact that he can almost of do anything that they need him to do. He is a pro-style quarterback in the sense that he can stand in the pocket and see over the offensive line and make all the throws.

He's a spread quarterback in that he can do the gun-read, gun-run type stuff that a spread offense does, and be a threat to run the ball because he's pretty athletic.

He's just a kid that when he sets his feet and he's confident and he knows where he wants to go with the ball, he's as good as I've seen in high school, and I got to see a bunch of quarterbacks the last couple of years. And he's just as good, if not better, than any of the guys that I've seen.

Can he make the transition to a pro-style offense?
Without a doubt. I think he'd flourish in that type of system. Any time quarterback in a pro-style offense understands a play-action pass game, and the run game, the run checks …I think one of the biggest difference for him, coming from kind of a spread-type version that they ran at Bosco is going to be making checks at the line for the running game.

I don't know much about the new offensive coordinator (Frank Cignetti), but I've been playing against Pittsburgh throughout my career and seeing what they always run, they'll be a pro-style, under center, tight end type of offense.

He'll make run checks at the line and use different audible systems, and things like that, which he probably hasn't done being under center, but it's not a hard adjustment coming from where he comes from because they had a lot on his plate being a spread-type quarterback in high school.

How much did Don Bosco Prep operate under center this season?
He did, for I'd say, 25 percent of the snaps. They ran the ball from under center, and they ran some play-action passes from under center. …He did a little bit of everything in high school, from double tight ends to three wide under center to four wide, spread shotgun, gun-run, play-action out of the gun. He's done it all.

You experienced a lot of pressure coming to Rutgers. Will it be less for Nova since the program is now established?
I think, if anything, he'll probably experience more pressure. Because of the success the program has had over the last five or six years …the expectation level has almost gone above and beyond anything when I was there. I was fortunate in '06 and we went 11-2, and people were expecting us the next year to come back and win the national championship.

In the state of New Jersey, that was a legit level of expectation for the fans. …When he kind of had back-to-back-to-back bowl wins, year in and year out the expectation level kept growing higher and higher, not only within the fan base, but also within the program.

I think that is going to be the same thing. As Gary gets down there and his career pans out, the expectation level is going to continue to grow because there's going to be success down there, and the fan base and the coaches and the players are going to expect more out of the players.

Finally, who's the better athlete?
(Laughing) …From all the things I've read (laughing) …If we get on the basketball court, I bet I'd win one-on-one. (more laughing).

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