- Mike Grimala, ESPNHS
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Throughout this offseason, we’ll spotlight Class of 2013 quarterbacks who have a shot at making the Elite 11 finals in July. This week we profile Maine South (Park Ridge, Ill.) star Matt Alviti.
Matt Alviti is part of the new wave of athletic, spread quarterbacks. Lacking prototypical size at 6-feet tall, the Maine South (Park Ridge, Ill.) junior makes up for it by producing with his legs as well as his arm. As a sophomore, he threw 24 touchdown passes and ran for 12 scores while leading Maine South to a state championship. Last year, he threw 29 touchdown passes and added another dozen on the ground. At last year’s Elite 11 regional camp at Ohio State, all of Alviti’s skills were on display, as he impressed with his quick release, accuracy and mobility. Is he the next Colt McCoy? For now, Alviti is just focused on making it to the Elite 11 finals.
ESPNHS: What were your expectations going into the Ohio State Elite 11 camp last year?
Alviti: Last year was the first time I went to an Elite 11. I was just trying to compete with the best kids in the country and pick up some coaching tips from all the great coaches who were there.
ESPNHS: How do you think you performed at that camp?
Alviti: I thought I did pretty well, compared to some of the quarterbacks who were there. There was a lot of good competition there. [Jameis] Winston, who’s going to Florida State, and Gunner Kiel was there. So there was a lot of talent, but I thought I threw the ball very well.
ESPNHS: What did you learn from that experience?
Alviti: I definitely learned a lot. I gained a lot of confidence, just learning some little footwork tips and ball placement tips. They showed me some things about where to hold the ball, and my release and just having a quicker release.
ESPNHS: What would it mean to be selected to the Elite 11 finals this year?
Alviti: That would be a great honor. As kids, every high school quarterback wants to be part of the Elite 11 and go out to California for the week and be coached up by Trent Dilfer and the best coaches in the country. And you get to bond with other kids from around the country who are just like you and going through the same things. So it would be a tremendous experience.
ESPNHS: How would you describe yourself as a quarterback?
Alviti: I’d say I’m a dual threat. I can run the ball and I can throw the ball. I like to think I have a good arm with a real quick release. And I’m a smart quarterback.
ESPNHS: Do you feel that being a dual threat is an advantage at the quarterback position?
Alviti: I think it opens up the offense a lot more. You can do a lot more with a dual threat quarterback. If there’s nothing in the passing game, you can maybe make a play with your legs. And if you want to run a read-option game with the running back, you have that option. That’s a system that works a lot in college and high school.
ESPNHS: What are you working on for your senior year?
Alviti: I’d say my leadership. I want to be a better leader and make my receivers and everyone around me better players. That’s what I need to work on. I can do that by getting together with my receivers and working on timing and things like that.
ESPNHS: How would you grade your play this past season?
Alviti: I’d say I played pretty well. I definitely could have played better. We had won the state championship three years in a row, but this year we lost in the second round of the state tournament, so that was definitely disappointing. There were a lot of things I could have done better that I just didn’t execute. I’m just looking to having the opportunity to go for the state championship again this year.
ESPNHS: What type of offense do you run at Maine South?
Alviti: We run a spread attack. I’d say we throw it 70-30, or 60-40.
ESPNHS: Are you motivated by that loss in the state tournament?
Alviti: It’s definitely motivation. It just makes you want to work harder, because you know you should have been in the state championship game. So you take that every day, and you work even harder because you don’t want to have that feeling again.
ESPNHS: What colleges are you interested in?
Alviti: I like Notre Dame a lot, and I like Northwestern a lot. Those are my top two schools right now.
School: Maine South (Park Ridge, Ill.)
2011 Team Record: 10-1 (Lost in 2nd round of Class 8A state tournament)
Passing yards: 2,210
Passing TDs: 29
Rushing TDs: 12