- Scott Powers, ESPN Staff Writer
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Matt Alviti wasn’t even sure he was going to be Maine South’s starting quarterback a summer ago.
A year later, Alviti’s life has changed.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Alviti won the quarterbacking job in the fall as a sophomore, led the Hawks to their third consecutive state championship and has already impressed college coaches enough to be offered four Division I scholarships to date, including a recent one from Notre Dame.
“It has come quicker than I thought,” Alviti said on Saturday.
Alviti has also drawn offers from Illinois, Indiana and Northwestern. Northwestern was the first to offer him, and Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald did so the day after Maine South won the Class 8A state championship in November.
“I can’t really tell you how it felt,” Alviti said. “To win state, and the next day receive a Division I scholarship, I’m at a loss for words.”
Illinois coach Ron Zook pulled the trigger shortly later.
“It’s a little surprising going into his junior year,” Maine South coach David Inserra said of all the offers. “I think everything has sped up immensely. That’s one of the things the coaches said in recruiting in the spring. They just say everything has sped up from five years ago. Unfortunately, it’s probably followed the basketball route where they feel they have to offer earlier and earlier.”
Where some players may be a risk to offer so early, Inserra doesn’t think Alviti falls in that category. As a sophomore, he completed 183-of-281 passes for 3,064 yards, 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also rushed for 577 yards and 12 touchdowns. In the 8A championship game, he was 16 of 21 for 224 yards and one touchdown.
What especially has impressed Inserra is Alviti’s knowledge for the game, and that he expects is only going to grow.
“He’s extremely intelligent, but he’s only a sophomore,” Inserra said. “I can’t imagine what he’ll be like when he’s a senior. His mechanics, arm strength and footwork are what separate himself. He already gets it. He’s won a state championship for us.”
Alviti and the Hawks will be the likely favorite to win a fourth consecutive championship in the upcoming season. The Hawks return a plethora talent on both sides of the ball.
“We’re looking for another state title run,” Alviti said. “There’s always pressure at Maine South, especially when you win three in a row. But you can’t take that with you. You have to play every game like it’s your last. Everyone is coming for you. We know we have that pressure.”
As for recruiting, Alviti doesn’t see any pressure in that for now. He plans on completing his junior season before he starts to make a decision. Right now, he said he did favor Northwestern and Notre Dame because of their future quarterback situations.
“Everywhere is a special place that I get offered from,” Alviti said. “I just want the opportunity to play college football. It doesn’t really matter where I go. Any place is going to be a good school.”