Several hours after leading Team Tampa to the national championship in the IMG Madden Football 7-on-7 tournament, quarterback Pete DiNovo (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake) received a much-awaited offer from UCF.
On Tuesday, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior committed to the Knights, ending what had been a stressful process.
"I feel so blessed right now I can barely put it into words," DiNovo said. "I have been communicating with UCF's staff for a while now, talking with coach [Kirk] Callahan and I had a feeling the offer would be coming."
DiNovo worked out for UCF during the school's team camps in mid-June and felt like he did enough to earn the offer.
"I thought I threw well and did everything to the best of my abilities," DiNovo said. "After that I just prayed on it and I was going to let God take care of things from there."
DiNovo received an offer from Houston late in the spring but he wasn't able to commit as the Houston staff had another quarterback to offer. When John O' Korn (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) committed to the Cougars, DiNovo was back at square one.
"It got very tense because I would see a lot of my buddies that play quarterback committing and I felt like I was running out of time," DiNovo said. "At times it was hard to focus. There were a lot of highs and lows during this process and waiting was the hardest part.
"So I just decided to concentrate on my team and stay close to my family. When things get a little rough I try to get back to focusing on the people close to me."
As a junior, DiNovo threw for 2,426 yards and 19 touchdowns. His offense at East Lake uses several of the pro-style formations that he will be executing at UCF.
"Honestly I think the program it's a perfect fit for me," DiNovo said. "I've had the opportunity to do a little chalk talk with coach [Charlie] Taaffe and he knows so much about the game. It's going to be a great opportunity to learn a lot from an experienced coach.
"And we do a lot of pro-style stuff at my school, a lot of under center plays so I will come in with a little background on what UCF wants to do on offense."
DiNovo is the 10th member of the UCF recruiting class of 2013. He will be part of the first class the Knights will bring in as members of the Big East.
"As you know this recruiting class is one of the biggest ones that UCF has ever had," DiNovo said. "And what better place to go play football? It's beautiful in Orlando, the campus is beautiful, they have indoor facilities, a brand new weight room. Everything is new, it's very exciting."