Pete DiNovo Has Big Shoes to Fill at Quarterback for UCF Knights


Jan 1, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; UCF Knights quarterback Pete DiNovo (14) warms up prior to the game against the Baylor Bears at University of Phoenix Stadium During the Fiesta Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

When the University of Central Florida Knights take the field on August 30 for the first game of the season against Penn State in Dublin, Ireland, they will have a new man under center in Pete DiNovo.

However, a UCF quarterback has never had bigger shoes to fill than DiNovo will.

The redshirt freshman will be replacing Blake Bortles for the Knights, who is arguably one of the two greatest quarterbacks in UCF history (Daunte Culpepper being the other).

DiNovo will be the first freshman to start for the Knights since Culpepper in 1995.

UCF also happen to be coming off of the best season in school history as they went 12-1 and won the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

As for Bortles, he threw 50 touchdowns the last two seasons. DiNovo has never thrown a pass in college football.

DiNovo had a standout high school career with East Lake where he threw for 59 touchdowns and 6,733 yards.

He was a member of UCF’s practice squad last season and beat out Justin Holman, Tyler Harris and Nick Patti, who transferred from Boise State, to win the job.

“I think all four of them can play, I think right now we’re in a good situation,” UCF coach George O’Leary said, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “But we need to move on and he’s 1 … He has three other guys behind him, and he has to execute and work to keep it, but he has shown he can do that, especially with his responsibility and accountability.”

The 20-year-old DiNovo pulled ahead in the competition due to his arm strength and consistency, ultimately leading him to secure the job.