This has been a week that Hunter Bivin will long remember.
First, the Watch List 150 prospect from Owensboro (Ky.) Apollo High School committed to his childhood favorite team, Notre Dame, during a visit last weekend. Then, the 6-foot-6, 290-pound junior was selected to play in the Under Armour All-America Game in January.
The latest round of good news came when his high school coach called him out of class on Thursday and informed him of the invite. Bivin immediately accepted.
“I'm definitely excited,” Bivin said on Friday. “It's a blessing to be invited to that type of game. You get to play with the best players in the nation. To be on the field with those type of athletes is amazing.”
Bivin's immediate future seems set. He knows where he'll be in January and, more importantly, knows where he'll be for his college career.
Despite 22 scholarship offers, the decision to commit to Notre Dame was a relatively easy one. Fandom determined that. The only hang-up to the decision was waiting to meet first-year Notre Dame offensive line coach Harry Hiestand. Bivin did that during his visit.
“He seemed like a really great dude and a guy that I want to be around,” Bivin said of Hiestand, who was hired from Tennessee after two seasons and has a history of coaching in the NFL.
Bivin had narrowed his list down to Georgia, Auburn, Ohio State, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Notre Dame before announcing his decision.
“I'd always been a big Notre Dame fan,” Bivin said. “It had always been my dream to go there.”
Being a longtime Fighting Irish fan wasn't the only factor in his decision. Bivin said he likes the physical mindset of football in the Midwest and how head coach Brian Kelly incorporates spread principles in his offense.
“I've always liked how Notre Dame has played and how coach Kelly has run things,” Bivin said. “I've always envisioned myself in that type offense. I think I'll fit in well.”
He should. Bivin's high school ran the spread offense throughout his career before a coaching change following his junior season. Now, the school plans to go to more of an I-formation, power offense. The two systems should help Bivin master both pass and run blocking.
“I think I'll be pretty familiar with the sets and plays that coach Kelly runs, but I'm also glad we'll run an I-formation,” Bivin said. “I think I'll be a well rounded player when I go to college.”
Some tutelage from Orlando this January can only help.