- Brian Bennett, College Football
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I included an item in today's lunch links about Pitt getting a commitment from a New Jersey quarterback.
NorthJersey.com columnist Art Stapleton has more on Gary Nova, the 6-foot-2 junior signal-caller from famed program Don Bosco Prep. Nova was also being recruited by Rutgers, Boston College, Colorado, Vanderbilt and Virginia and had received interest from Georgia, Miami and Penn State. Dave Wannstedt was able to lock up the early commitment.
"I built a good relationship with the coaching staff, and after a tour of the city [last month], I just fell in love with the place," said Nova, whose current Don Bosco teammates Bryan Murphy and Brandon Sacco signed with Pittsburgh in February. "I feel like I fit perfectly into what they do with their offense.
"It was almost like, ‘Why wait? I want to be a Pitt Panther,’ so I committed."
Nova threw for 1,668 yards and 23 touchdowns last year as Don Bosco was ranked as the No. 1 high school team in the country following a 12-0 season. The school has also produced Big East quarterbacks Mike Teel (Rutgers) and Matt Simms, who started at Louisville and is now at Tennessee.
Pitt has really stepped up its recruiting efforts in New Jersey, an area where assistant coach Jeff Hafley has found tremendous success in the past couple of years. The Panthers' recent pickups from the Garden State include defensive end T.J. Clemmings, running back Ray Graham and athlete Jason Hendricks.
Nova told ESPN.com's Scouts Inc. that he looked forward to the chance to play under offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti Jr., who has a reputation for developing quarterbacks. I can already picture the "Super Nova" headlines and puns now if Pitt's latest commitment pans out.