Noah Vellaithambi, the starting quarterback at Hurricane High School in West Virginia, has been making some noise on GMTM recently after receiving an invitation to the Elite 11 Regional in Pennsylvania. A rising star in the Ohio Valley high school football scene, Vellaithambi has been turning heads with his impressive performances on the field and his dedication off of it.
Vellaithambi received his invite from Elite 11 last month after he participated in the 2023 Elite 11 Digital Combine.
Each year, dozens of quarterbacks compete at Elite 11 camps around the country - all hoping to earn the next invite and ultimately land at the Elite 11 finals with the best passers in your class. Because of the quality of Elite 11’s camp process, the phrase Elite 11 Finalist has become synonymous with Heisman Trophy Winner or First-Round Draft Pick.
Noah Vellaithambi shares a lot of the traits of past Elite 11 quarterbacks like Trevor Lawrence and C.J. Stroud. But the storyline that stands out to those who meet Vellaithambi is how much he loves the sport and plays it with humility despite his obvious talent.
The storyline for recruiters is obvious, too. For instance, he’s a team leader from the Rust Belt - Football’s heart and soul. And he’s athletic and mobile in the pocket with an arm that can reach the entire field. Those are two old-fashioned qualities every coach is looking for in their play-caller.
When he was asked which great quarterback he tries to mold himself, Noah even responded with something along those lines:
“I don't mold myself after anyone. I just do me… I just feel like I can run the ball well and it helped us a lot in the playoffs... And I throw the ball well too. I like to throw outside of the pocket because I have good accuracy outside the pocket...”
In a recent interview with GMTM.com, Vellaithambi shared his journey so far as a high school quarterback, how he landed at quarterback, and GMTM helped him get the nod from the coaches at Elite 11.
Vellaithambi, the class of 2025 starting quarterback at Hurricane High School (WV), has been playing football since he was seven years old. In fact, he never really was interested in much else. That interest in the sport was - in part - thanks to his dad. Before helping his son record his Elite 11 Pro Day script earlier this year, Noah’s dad had spent a lot of time leading his son on the football field.
“He's a big supporter of me - probably my biggest supporter and he's always been a coach. He coached me in middle school and little league,” Vellaithambi said in a zoom call last week.
It was playing for his dad’s middle school football team when Vellaithambi found himself at quarterback for the first time when his team could only run the Wildcat formation…
“I didn't start playing quarterback till sixth grade. I used to play receiver,” admitted Vellaithambi. “I only became a quarterback cause my team didn't have one.
Stepping up when his team needs him is kind of a trend in Vellaithambi’s football career. Just a few years after giving up the wide receiver position to fill the empty spot under center, Vellaithambi was carrying his entire school farther than any Hurricane quarterback ever had.
As the sophomore starting quarterback Noah took the Redskins to the school’s first-ever semifinal game in the West Virginia State Playoffs. On the way there, he recorded five passing touchdowns in one playoff game. You can watch them all here.
On his team’s win against University (Morgantown, WV): “We played a good game the first round of the playoffs. It was a home game. It was wet outside. We just came out and played well and finished the job.”
His performance cemented his place as one of the most talented quarterbacks in the state…. at least for a little while. The process to be recruited as a college football quarterback is a year-round process with new headlines every few hours. By the time Noah was done with his week-long break from football after the season, his Hurricane football team was old news, despite the 129 points they scored in their three playoff games.
But just as he stepped up to play quarterback in seventh grade, and to earn more postseason snaps than any quarterback in his high school’s history, Noah’s pursuit in his sophomore year didn’t stop.
His early offseason was spent in the weight room and on the field, with his weekends booked with campus visits to schools in and around West Virginia. He even picked up an offer from Miami (OH) University, a MAC program just a few hours away from Hurricane, and West Virginia State.
Noah’s plans for his offseason changed, though, after he saw a few other quarterbacks earning their Elite 11 Regional Invitations on Twitter. The invites were being sent after some other elite quarterbacks in his class uploaded film to the Elite 11 Digital Combine on GMTM.
“We just saw a bunch of quarterbacks on Twitter getting the invites and so we went to GMTM and saw we had to do the Pro Day video and submit it. We had a couple of receivers from my team that caught for me… and a few weeks later I got the invite.”
In its third year, the Elite 11 Digital Combine allows high school quarterbacks from around the country to submit a Pro Day script to the camp coaches virtually. From coast to coast, aspiring college recruits were able to be seen, evaluated, and maybe even invited by Elite 11 coaches.
Noah’s Digital Pro Day script was similar. From his high school field in West Virginia with his dad recording on an iPhone camera, Noah uploaded a video for coaches hundreds of miles away. Eight minutes and 21 throws later, Noah earned his spot at the Elite 11 Northeast Regional later this spring in State College, Pennsylvania.
Despite his two offers from local universities, Noah still has a dream of playing quarterback at a school close by… and it isn’t the Mountaineers. No, on the field at Hurricane High, Noah is about equidistant from Morgantown and another football-crazy town that he would choose over all else: Columbus, Ohio.
Vellaithambi, the southwest West Virginia native wants to be a Buckeye… at least for now. With two years of high school football ahead of him and perhaps an Elite 11 Final along the way, Vellaithambi has a lot more phone calls and emails to open from wishful college football coaches. And his attitude on the competition that will start when he gets to campus certainly won’t keep him away from a top college program:
“I'm excited to be in a place a bunch of different quarterbacks I can compare (myself) to… The quarterback room at my high school is not too deep, but it is still a battle every day.”
Throughout the process, it’s certain that one thing is driving him while also keeping his feet firmly on the turf - a free college education:
“I would go anywhere that wants me… free school is everything to me. If a school wants me to play football too and I get free school, I would love that.”
Vellaithambi's story isn’t that different from a few of the top quarterbacks he’ll be throwing with at the Elite 11 Regional in Pennsylvania. What separates this quarterback from other high school standouts with great arm talent is his integrity and work ethic. And it’s a lesson for other young quarterbacks who see his story… reminding them that you earn big situations like Playoff Games and quarterback camps with the hard work you put in by yourself on the days in between.
Joey Grant is the co-founder and CEO of GMTM.com, and a former college football player at UCF. He believes that sports is the greatest vehicle to increase opportunities in the world and he will die on that hill.