Past Experience — In what is becoming a regularity for Rutgers football, Nova broke in quickly as a redshirt freshman quarterback and found playing time as a starter midway through the season.
An architect of the overtime win over Syracuse and a rout of Pittsburgh in the Big East home opener, Nova experienced early success with the Scarlet Knights. He went 3-2 as a starter before Chas Dodd re-took the position and finished with 1,553 yards, 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
As a Recruit — Nova was one of multiple Pittsburgh commits to flip to Rutgers after a massive coaching overhaul. The pride of Don Bosco Prep, Nova was a two-time state champion as the quarterback of the Ironmen where he never lost a game.
Nova ranked in as the No. 69 quarterback in the country and a three-star recruit.
Spring Performance — Neither Nova nor Dodd did enough to win the quarterback outside of the spring, but both showed signs of improvement from last season. For Nova, that meant an increased ability to protect the football and improved accuracy.
Nova best displayed his improvements in the spring game, where he went 12-for-13 for 174 yards and a touchdown pass to receiver Tim Wright.
Does Well — When Nova is on his game, he is a swashbuckler behind the line of scrimmage. He moves very well within the pocket and is effective against tough pass rushers.
Nova has effective accuracy when in control and is able to make all of the throws necessary in coordinator Dave Brock's pro-style system.
Perhaps most importantly, Nova is a winner. Before his loss against Louisville last season, it had been four years since he came up short in a game as the starting quarterback.
Needs to Improve — Ball security remains the top concern for Nova. His turnovers got ridiculous at times as a true freshman and his unwillingness to get rid of the ball on dying plays killed many drives last season.
Nova has been hard at work to limit his turnovers and, if he shows he succeeded in training camp, will be in good shape to win the starting job.
Long-Term Outlook — Nova has three years of eligibility remaining, light-years for a quarterback. In a Rutgers system, Nova will have to compete for every snap of playing time but has the chance to be the starter in Piscataway for a long time.
Nova has a higher physical ceiling than Dodd, but is not nearly as accomplished as a game-manager. Throw Blake Rankin into the mix and the quarterback position will continue to be a heated battle.