Brent Novoselsky’s love for football had a simple beginning—a Nerf pick-up game in his neighborhood cul-de-sac. Born and raised in Skokie, Illinois, he said the best days were when it snowed enough in the Chicago suburb to allow all the kids to play tackle in the street. “My football career started really early,” Novoselsky said, but it wasn’t until his freshman year of high school that he joined an actual team.
Novoselsky fell into the role of tight end by happenstance. He remembers his first high school football practice vividly: young players all gathered in the indoor gym—hormonal nerves and all— to pick what position they wanted to try out for. When the coach told the players to line up based on their desired positions, Novoselsky largely based his decision on which line had the fewest number of players—the line for the tight ends. Quickly, however, Novoselsky knew the position was for him, as it fulfilled his desire to both block and catch.