Even though he’s been committed to Baylor since December, Austin Novosad felt like he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to compete for an offer at Ohio State.
Novosad wasn’t necessarily looking for offers from any other schools when Ohio State quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis visited his school earlier this year. But Dennis was able to persuade him to make the trip to Columbus for Ohio State’s first camp of the summer on Wednesday.
“I just thought that that, you know, it was Ohio State, so I had to go see it. And it was just a good experience to go see what they had to offer,” Novosad told Eleven Warriors on Thursday. “It's just kind of the best of the best and the biggest of the biggest, really. It’s the top-of-the-line QB factory and competition level, really, that is the biggest stage to play on.”
What Ohio State had to offer Novosad on Wednesday was a scholarship. He was the only quarterback to receive an offer at Wednesday’s camp after he went through a throwing workout alongside Nevada quarterback commit Jax Leatherwood – with Ryan Day watching closely – for about 40 minutes.
As only the eighth quarterback in the 2023 class to receive an offer from Ohio State, Novosad knows just getting an offer from the Buckeyes is an accomplishment in itself.
“It’s definitely something to be proud of,” Novosad said. “Not many kids get it. So I think it's definitely an exciting time getting to throw for Coach Day and then leaving with an offer.”
Now that Novosad has an offer in hand, the four-star Texan just might be the Buckeyes’ top quarterback target – or at least the one they have the best chance of landing – in the class of 2023.
Novosad isn’t as highly rated as the other seven 2023 quarterbacks who have offers from Ohio State. The other seven are all ranked within the top 100 of 247Sports’ composite rankings, while Novosad is ranked just 308th overall in the class. All but two of them have already committed to other schools, however, and none of the other quarterbacks with offers are currently scheduled to visit Ohio State this month.
As of now, Novosad remains committed to Baylor, where he’ll take an official visit from June 17-19. The only other school he plans to visit this month is Stanford, where he’ll be this weekend.
He says he will consider returning to Ohio State for a game visit this fall, but doesn’t have any timeline for when he will make a final decision on whether he will honor his commitment to Baylor or go to another college.
“Just taking it slow,” Novosad said. “My Baylor OV coming up and then the Elite 11 out in LA right now is what I'm focused on. And then just kind of letting things play out, really.”
If Novosad ends up deciding between Baylor vs. Ohio State, his choice will ultimately come down to determining which factors are most important to him in a school. He views those two potential destinations as very different from one another.
“If you're gonna compare Ohio State and Baylor, I would say they're complete opposites,” Novosad said. “There's a lot of pros and cons. One's close, one’s far. One, you might play your first year; one, you might play your last year. One's in the Big Ten, one’s in the Big 12. So I mean, it's just like, so many different variables that go into it. So we're just sitting back and comparing them right now and really just thinking about what we want to do.”
Two factors Novosad says are important to him are playing time and distance from home, both of which would seemingly favor Baylor. He’d have to beat out higher-ranked quarterbacks like Kyle McCord, Devin Brown and/or Dylan Raiola for the chance to be the starter early in his career at Ohio State. And Waco is only a two-hour drive away from his hometown of Dripping Springs, Texas.
Novosad says he wouldn’t be scared off by the competition in Columbus, though.
“I think Coach Day’s really passionate about just, he doesn't care how much you play as long as you're getting developed and as long as you stay your course, he thinks everything's gonna turn out,” Novosad said. “So I kind of like that. I think he just really wanted to get good passers up there and then develop them over the years.”
After watching the likes of C.J. Stroud and Justin Fields thrive within Ohio State’s offense over the past few years, Novosad is confident he would be developed well if he chooses to become a Buckeye. Even after less than an hour of throwing with Day, he already feels like he’s a better quarterback than he was before.
“Some of the drills he put us through and some of the things he told us to work on while we were out there just really helped me. I mean, some of the things he said, you can tell right after the next throw, that really helps,” said Novosad, who said Day worked with him on foot placement, balance and timing. “You can tell every throw that I was improving, so that was good.”
Novosad had the chance to talk with both Stroud and Brown while he was on campus, and they had nothing but good things to tell him about playing for the Buckeyes.
“They both (spoke really highly) about it, and they loved Coach Day’s hands-on with the QBs and really working with them,” Novosad said. “They said that the offense is kind of ran around the QB.”
“It's just kind of the best of the best and the biggest of the biggest, really. It’s the top-of-the-line QB factory and competition level, really, that is the biggest stage to play on.”– Austin Novosad on Ohio State
Novosad believes Day has made Ohio State one of the best places in college football for a quarterback to play, and because of that, he’ll be giving the Buckeyes serious consideration now that they’ve offered him.
“Coach Day’s gonna produce up there and win a bunch of games,” Novosad said. “Let the QBs throw it, and I think that just shows the future that they're leading at the QB position. You can already see what kind of legacy Coach Day has made with his QBs. So I think it's a positive, for sure.”