2023 Quarterback Austin Novosad Gives Will Stein First Big Recruiting Win at Oregon
The pressure was on Will Stein from the moment he was hired at Oregon on Dec. 7.
Following Kenny Dillingham’s departure from Eugene to Arizona State, Stein quickly boarded a plane to Detroit to visit the headliner in Dan Lanning’s 2023 recruiting class Martin Luther King quarterback Dante Moore.
The visit was an important one, as Oregon’s new offensive coordinator laid out his best pitch to keep Moore locked in with the Ducks amid a late push from Chip Kelly at UCLA. Moore would eventually flip his commitment to the Bruins on Dec. 19.
Despite Bo Nix announcing his return to Eugene for the 2023 season, Stein still needed to find a quarterback to build depth in his room. On the surface he had just two days to get it done before the early signing period began on Dec. 21.
But the Ducks had been working behind the scenes, taking a trip out to Dripping Springs, Texas for an in-home visit with quarterback Austin Novosad, who had been committed to Baylor since last December. They parlayed a strong in-home visit to get the Adidas All-American signal caller to visit Oregon the weekend before the early signing period.
READ MORE: 2024 wide receiver Jordan Anderson commits to Oregon
That trip looked like it was the pivotal moment in this recruitment, as Stein was able to sell Novosad on his offensive vision and playing his college football in Eugene. the Ducks would sign Novosad on the first day of the early signing period.
There was some skepticism surrounding Stein’s hire, maybe not as a play caller, but as a recruiter. It’s not often that you’re pursuing or landing talent of Novosad’s caliber at UTSA.
But Dan Lanning never had a doubt Stein would be comfortable on the recruiting trail.
“Will’s a guy that’s felt very strong from the moment he stepped on campus about Austin,” Lanning said during his national signing day press conference. “Obviously Austin’s a guy that he had a relationship with all the way back to when Austin was in eighth grade. That’s a place where Will’s relationships really paid off and he obviously did a phenomenal job there closing out.”
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Novosad gives Oregon one of the top arms in the country from the 2023 class. His stellar play throughout his high school career earned him a spot at the Elite 11 finals in the summer, as he lead Dripping Springs to three consecutive appearances in the Texas State playoffs during his high school career.
As a three-year starter he threw for 8,983 yards, completing 64.5% of his passes for 114 touchdowns against just 18 interceptions. He’s a special talent that will be welcome addition in Eugene.
“He has the ability to place the ball,” Lanning said of Oregon’s 2023 quarterback signee. “I think if you watch his film you’re gonna see some really accurate throws and challenging throws. A lot of quarterbacks might be able to throw a deep ball and throw some quick game throws. One thing that shows up consistently with Austin is his ability to throw intermediate routes really accurately. I think that’s hard to do in football.”
You could make the argument that getting Nix to return was Stein’s first big recruiting win, but earning Novosad’s signature at the eleventh hour is a look to the program’s future and one that helped minimize the damage of losing Dante Moore to UCLA.
Now the Ducks have another player they can develop behind Nix during the 2023 season and his polished skillset should translate well to Stein’s offense.
TORRES’ TAKE: What to make of Oregon’s splash during the early signing period
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