Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Nova Helps His Own Cause

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Nova Helps His Own Cause

Article excerpt

PISCATAWAY - Much like he did on game day across four Rutgers football seasons, Gary Nova woke up Wednesday with a sense of anticipation, a growing excitement for what his football day would bring. But unlike in the past, when the quarterback was working to lead his team to a victory, this day was all about him.

Nova had as much at stake as any of the 16 former Rutgers players who participated in the school's on-campus Pro Day, as it represented his first official time in front of an NFL audience.

"You've got those little nerves, but you're prepared and you're just excited to get out here," he said after completing various agility and speed drills followed by nearly an hour of throwing. "Then you remember we've practiced in this bubble millions of times so it was just like going out there in a practice and having fun."

With representatives from all 32 NFL teams in the building, Nova drew plenty of interested onlookers. While tight end Tyler Kroft was probably the day's main attraction, having been unable to do the drills at last month's NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis when a previous ankle injury flared up, Nova, fullback Michael Burton, wide receiver Andrew Turzilli, safety Lorenzo Waters and offensive linemen Kaleb Johnson and Betim Bujari were also focused on making NFL dreams come true.

Nova did well in the drills, clocking a personal-best 4.61 in the 40-yard dash, hitting 34 inches on the vertical jump, 9 feet 7 inches in the broad jump and clocking in at 6.89 in the three-cone drill, 4.37 in the 20-yard shuttle and 11.21 in the 60-yard shuttle. By comparison, the top 40 times among quarterbacks at the combine (to which Nova did not receive an invite) were Marcus Mariota's 4.52, Nick Marshall's 4.54 and Blake Sims' 4.57.

Nova would have been next in that line, just ahead of the 4.63 turned in by Brett Hundley and Cody Fajardo.

"Fastest I ran. …

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