I was happy to learn Matt Alviti verbally committed to Northwestern. The Maine South junior quarterback is one of the best football players I’ve watched since I started as a professional sports writer in 1998.
This post was prompted by Mike Clark’s column on the state’s Class of 2013. (Here’s Tom Lemming’s Top 20 recruits in the state)
Between Northwestern’s football program and its academic offerings, Alviti’s got to be getting about the best deal in the country.
I hope he gets an opportunity to play. Looking at the roster, I see four QBs, one of whom is a sophomore and the other three are freshmen.
It’s seems as if sophomore Kain Colter is presumptive favorite to start in 2012. He, of course, will have two more seasons once Alviti matriculates at the Evanston university.
Without knowing anything about the four underclass Wildcats QBs, I believe Alviti should be taking the snaps by the time he’s a sophomore.
As I wrote earlier, he’s one of the best football players I’ve watched. He’s someone who has that innate talent that you can’t teach, and I believe Maine South coach Dave Inserra and offensive coordinator Charlie Bliss would agree.
Being from Georgia and working at a newspaper in LaGrange, a town that has produced more than a handful of pros (Marty Carter as an example) and hundreds of college players, I think I know good ones when I see them.
Alviti does things that exemplify what it means to be a QB. The 6-footer may not have the size, but he has all the throws and can run by design and also when necessary.
However, it’s much more than that. Alviti’s instincts are among the best I’ve seen. He’s a guy you would pick first for a backyard game, if only because you didn’t want to play against him.
I started covering Maine South full time in the spring of 2009 after Inserra won his first football state championship.
I was there when Tyler Benz quarterbacked the Hawks to another state title that fall. He was a beast, a 6-3, 200-plus pound player who could throw when necessary, run for a couple of yards when needed and also play defensive end. He went on to play at Eastern Michigan.
Alviti came along the following year. He was a player Inserra told me about the summer before. Alviti was a quarterback.
The first time I saw Alviti in a preseason practice I knew this kid was the real deal. He took some lumps early that year before directing the Hawks to the 12 wins in a row and the state title.
After talking to Alviti that Saturday following his commitment, he seemed relieved to complete the process. And as I gathered from our conversation, he was humbled as well.
He couldn’t stop thanking all the people who helped him along the way, most importantly his parents.
I’m glad Alviti is content with his future home, but I look forward to watching him take snaps for Maine South for one more season.