Danny Novickas never envisioned that he’d play college football when he first came to Mount Carmel as a freshman.
Then schools started to take notice of an impressive junior season and the offers started to roll in. On Wednesday, Novickas committed to the University of Ohio.
“I’m stoked,” Novickas said. “At first going into the recruiting process this year, I didn’t think I’d be committing this early, but I’m excited because I know I get to know the other 23 recruits and keep forming a relationship with the coaching staff there.”
Schools started to notice Novickas during the winter after looking at his junior season film, with Kent State offering the outside linebacker/edge rusher in January. Western Michigan, Western Illinois, Long Beach and Bowling Green all followed suit before Ohio offered on May 18. New Mexico State also offered at the end of May.
Novickas attended different camps throughout the spring to build relationships with coaches but really liked what he learned when he visited Ohio at the end of June. He said he loved the Bobcats’ campus and the facilities and the team runs a similar defense that features the Jack position, a combination of an outside linebacker and defensive end.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound senior considered Western Michigan, but Novickas really liked the relationship he built with the Ohio coaching staff, how similar it felt to Mount Carmel and didn’t want to wait any longer to commit.
“I didn’t want to not commit and lose a chance,” Novickas said. “Rosters are filling up really quick. I definitely didn’t want to take a chance and lose my spot at Ohio. I loved it there, why not just make the choice now?”
247Sports ranks Novickas as the 39th best prospect in Illinois with a three-star rating. He finished his junior year with 97 total tackles, 13 sacks and two pass breakups.
Mount Carmel coach Jordan Lynch was impressed with Novickas’ growth both physically and mentally during his three seasons with the program. The coach thinks Novickas can excel in the Mid-American Conference as either a stand-up defensive lineman and linebacker or he can move inside because of his size.
Novickas and Lynch both agreed that he needs to work on his pass coverage, something he didn’t have enough film of from his junior season. The defensive player attended some camps as a defensive back in order to get some snaps and to learn more, something that Lynch know will set his player apart.
“He’s very versatile and very smart on the field,” Lynch said. “He can do multiple things when he gets to the MAC, it’s a great fit for any of these MAC schools to get Danny Novickas at the table.”
Novickas is excited to be done with his recruitment and focus on his senior season, where he hopes to help Mount Carmel compete for a CCL/ESCC Blue division title and advance further in the postseason after last season’s quarterfinal appearance.
“It’s all excitement now,” Novickas said. “Just keep working for the season and keep working for my freshman year there.”