- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
Northwestern and Notre Dame were at the top of Matt Alviti’s list for months but there is a new runner in the race for the ESPNU Watch List quarterback: Michigan State.
“I like the coaching staff a lot. Coach [Mark] Dantonio is a great coach,” Alviti (Park Ridge, Ill./Maine South) said. “I like the feeling there and the fans. They support it well, and not to mention they’re a great team. They won a Big Ten championship in 2010 and a couple plays from winning another this year.”
At Maine South, Alviti runs a spread offense, which would make for an easier transition at either Northwestern or Notre Dame over Michigan State. He says that wouldn’t hold the Spartans back, though.
“It’s a little bit of a factor, but I feel comfortable in any situation whether a spread or pro-style,” he said. “It’s if I feel more comfortable at the school.”
There will be three major factors for Alviti when it comes to making a decision.
“Stability in the head coaching position – and I think the stability at all three is very strong – as well as the offensive coordinator and quarterback coaches positions. That’s a big one,” Alviti said. “Academics is a big one and depth chart. Where can I play – not right away but redshirt a year, sit out another and then [start] for three years? Where can I play the most at?”
Alviti said he is not leaning in any direction at the moment.
“Notre Dame is a great place,” he said. “Being there on game day, people are screaming your name and you don’t know who they are and you don’t even go there, but they know you.”
A few years ago, the idea of Northwestern being a legitimate suitor for Alviti would have been laughable. However, Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald landed an ESPNU 150 prospect the last two classes, including Ifeadi Odenigbo, the top player from Ohio in 2012.
Alviti said he lives no more than 20 minutes from the Northwestern campus and has visited “too many times to count.”
“Being a hometown kid and that they haven’t won a bowl game in forever, I want to try to be one of the people to help guide them there,” Alviti said, “and the fact of their academics. You can’t play football forever. It’s a 40-year commitment rather than a four- or five-year commitment.”
487dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert