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The Inside Scoop on Ohio Division Three Player of the Year QB Drew Novak

Drew Novak

Drew Novak

The 2023 cycle is special when it comes to the QB position in a way that most classes simply are not. From USC commit Malachi Nelson to the uncommitted Arch Manning to Oklahoma's Jackson Arnold to Tennessee's Nicholaus Iamaleava and everyone in between. However, none of these 5-star prospects threw for over 5000 yards in a season starting out at just 15 years old.

Meet 2-star QB Drew Novak from Western Brown High School in Mt. Orab, OH. The young man who led the nation in passing last season. He threw for a whopping 5,269 yards along with 56 touchdowns while only throwing 11 interceptions. He also led his team in rushing with over 1,200 yards while scoring 21 times in the process. Drew has been dominant, leading a program that had struggled in recent years all the way to the Ohio Division Three State semifinals, where they lost to number one Seed Granville 57-49.

Drew Novak may be the most underrated prospect since the likes of Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield. What is the catch that is keeping such a talented young signal-caller off the radar of so many schools, especially right in the heart of MAC country? It is certainly not his size. Novak is 6'6 and 210 pounds right now at only 16 years old. It's definitely not his tape either, which clearly shows he can spin it and throw well to all the three levels of the field in the passing game. Nor is it his athleticism. Just ask Hillsboro high school about that when he scampered 79 yards for a touchdown making about five or six defenders look silly.

I sat down with Drew and his head coach at Western Brown Nick Osborne to learn more about him, and their program. Also, try to figure out how the Division 3 Player of the year in Ohio had not been offered yet with six MAC schools in the state. What kind of guy would these teams get if they pulled the trigger on the Mr. Ohio finalist?

"They're going to get a guy who is always going to work hard. Just going to execute the offense, doing whatever the coaches said. And I think they are going to get a guy who everyone likes to be around - a nice, fun guy." 

Coach Osborne noted that Drew has grown a lot as a leader, especially for a young man of his age. Osborne noted that "players gravitate towards him."  Drew has become sort of a celebrity of sorts for many in his area. He lives in a small town, where Friday night is the big event that gathers folks together. However, despite this Drew appears as humble and grounded as you could imagine for a young man. His focus and goals for this year, are not individual ones.

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"We want to win state", Drew says of his goals.  "That's all that matters right now. We got a little experience making it that far last year. We're experienced now, so why not do it?" Novak informs with a grin. 

Novak models his game after like-sized quarterbacks. He likes to look at tape he sees from Trevor Lawrence, Justin Herbert, and Josh Allen. When asked about what he would like to study in college, I was surprised with yet another grounded answer, he wants to study education to one day be a teacher and coach.

"I told him one day you know if he is maybe not too popular one day for me if he ever remembers me after he makes it big one day. He can be our quarterbacks' coach one day." Coach Osborne says as both can't contain their laughter.

For Coach Osborne coaching at Western Brown is something that means a lot to him. He grew up in Mt. Orab and graduated from the school in 2015. His father and Drew's actually played together on an undefeated team in 1986. As a result, many of the kids on his roster have known him for some time, and in many ways that has helped this program turn around very quickly. Coach Osborne is personable you can tell he cares about his kids and has formed a great relationship with them. He also recognizes how important it has been to have a QB the caliber of Drew Novak to turn things around so quickly.

"Getting a guy like Drew right off the rip is something special. I remember watching him as a freshman. Watching his film and seeing him starting a game at just 13 years old which is nuts. Getting him his sophomore year, then junior year, and seeing him grow and I'm really really excited. We've already seen flashes of how much he's improved from junior year to now and we've only been at it for three weeks this summer. So wherever he goes, whoever offers him is going to get an absolute steal of this kid, and I sit back and look at it and say what is this kid gonna like like when he is 20, 21 years old? You know, get in a college weight room for three years, four years the kid can be a freak. He's 6'6 210 now, he has already put on 30 pounds since our last game. Once he gets to that 230-240 range, he is gonna be a big steal for someone, and someone is going to get really really lucky to get him."

-Coach Nick Osborne on his QB Drew Novak

Drew is an excellent young quarterback and a smart young man with a good head on his shoulders. Athletically there appears to be a high ceiling for what he can accomplish, in a few years I fully believe this young man will be a household name in major college football. Drew is a winner and a humble young man. He can help most any program in the country. This story is a reminder that while recruiting services have come quite a way, there are still stories like Drew Novak's reminding us that we have a long way to go. Drew is going to make some college coach look like a genius. For now, though, it's his friends and teammates at Western Brown High school that will have his dedication and commitment. Perhaps heading towards a Division Three State Championship?

If you would like to see the full interview with Coach Osborne and Drew you can do so here: