Hunter Bivin made his 12th – and final – visit to Notre Dame of the recruiting process this past weekend.
After trips to South Bend for spring games, regular season games, camps and other unofficial visits over the past couple of years, the 2013 offensive line commit from Kentucky took his official visit in advance of National Signing Day in a couple of weeks.
“It was fun,” said the 6-foot-7, 290-pounder from Apollo High School in Owensboro, Ky. “I had a blast.
“On Friday, when we got there, we went to eat at Ruth’s Chris. It was good. I’d never had a $50 steak before. Then we went and hung out with the guys.”
Saturday morning featured brunch at The Mark in Eddy Street Commons followed by more meetings with Irish head coach Brian Kelly, offensive line coach Harry Hiestand and others.
“We went and spoke with the admissions guys,” Bivin said. “Me and Coach Hiestand talked for a while about scheme and stuff like that. Then I went and talked with Coach Kelly. We went to a hockey game, we went and ate in the press box and then went and hung out with the guys again.”
The meeting at the admissions office centered on what Bivin’s life outside of football would be at Notre Dame. His conversation with Kelly was more relaxed than ever.
“He seems more personable than he used to be,” Bivin said of the Irish head coach. “That was one of his things this year, to be more of an interactive coach. He said that over and over again and I could definitely tell. He’s a really, really, really good guy and I can tell he’s going to be fun to play for.”
And Bivin’s visit with Hiestand was informative.
“It was cool,” said Bivin. “I’m going to have to work to get used to everything. They said they originally planned for me to redshirt, but they might be thin and if I bust my butt this summer, I might get to play a little bit. They just went over the basic blocking schemes in zone and pass protection. I’m excited.
“They said they’re only going to have seven linemen on scholarship this spring. They’re real thin. They said, ‘Don’t be surprised if you get thrown in there as a backup in the two-deep on the depth chart.’”
Bivin didn’t ask his future position coach what position he’d start off at, mainly because that doesn’t really matter to him.
“Any of the five spots, I’m willing to play,” he said. “There isn’t one that I would rather play over the other.”
Bivin spent a good chunk of his time with Notre Dame offensive linemen Zack and Nick Martin.
“They seem like good guys,” Bivin said of the brothers. “Even though they’re not from Kentucky, they act a lot like the guys from Kentucky because their whole family lives here. I thought I was going to be the only one with a country accent and then Andrew Hendrix and them walk in and felt kind of at home. They’re all good guys. I think I’ll fit in well.”
He also had the chance to talk with some of the early enrollees from his class, including tight end Mike Heuerman.
“They seem to like it a lot,” said Bivin.
Sunday morning featured another meal, this time with Hiestand and Irish offensive coordinator Chuck Martin, before Bivin, his mother, his brother and sister-in-law headed back to Kentucky. Bivin’s family is completely comfortable with the decision he made.
“They had been there before,” said Bivin. “They really like it. They’re all really supportive and think Notre Dame is the place for me and think I’ll fit in well.”