When Brendan Nosovitch watched Connor Shaw play quarterback the past two seasons at South Carolina, he thought: “I can do that one day.”
“I definitely aspire to play like Connor,” South Carolina’s sophomore quarterback said. “I think I have the ability to play like him, and I am just going to keep working hard and see where it goes.”
Nosovitch, a 6-foot-1, 221-pound Pennsylvania native, was a PARADE All-American and rated the nation’s eighth-best dual threat quarterback by 247Ssports.com coming out of high school. When he saw how the Gamecocks used Shaw at quarterback, signing with South Carolina seemed like a perfect fit, he said.
Now, Nosovitch’s athleticism may be moving him out of the quarterback competition. He has taken as many practice snaps at tight end this fall as he has at quarterback.
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“He’s an athlete,” coach Steve Spurrier said. “He can run with it. He can catch. He’s got good, thick hands, so we have to find a way to utilize his talents, if it’s tight end or slot receiver or wildcat quarterback. He’s very capable. His passing has not been quite as good as the other guys, but he’s a good athlete and we are trying to find a way he can help our team.”
Quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus agreed.
“He starts playing tight end, the next thing you know, he’s 80 yards down the sideline for a touchdown,” Mangus said. “Not a lot of guys can do that.”
Nosovitch is consistently one of the Gamecocks’ top performers in the offseason speed and agility drills. Four practices into the season, the highlight of the workouts has been that 80-yard touchdown catch during an 11-on-11 drill near the end of Saturday night’s practice.
“I probably did surprise some people,” Nosovitch said. “I don’t know if a lot of people expected it or knew that I could physically do that. I enjoy going out there and running some routes and catching some balls. It’s something I’ve always been able to do, even though I have always played quarterback.”
Nosovitch’s passing accuracy has improved, and he considers himself a quarterback, he said. He is Pennsylvania’s career yardage record holder with 12,877 – and 9,249 of those yards came through the air.
“Ultimately, my goal is to get on the field in some kind of way. So, if I am getting on the field and running routes and catching passes, I will be happy with that. But, throughout this camp, I still want to be competing for that second job and make the most of the quarterback reps at this point,” he said.
Nosovitch played in three games last year and completed both of his passing attempts. Although his versatility has gained a nickname from his fellow QBs – “Slash” – he will not speculate on what he will do if he is asked to change positions.
“That’s really tough to say right now,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to happen where they say, ‘All right, you’re not going to be a quarterback anymore.’ They told me they still want me to be a quarterback and get quarterback reps, so I am not too worried about that right now.”