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Irish add linemen Colin McGovern and Hunter Bivin to ’13 recruiting class

Mar 24, 2012, 9:47 PM EDT

Bivin & McGovern

With the Irish football program entertaining a group of high profile juniors this weekend, it was important to leave a strong impression on a group of players that the Notre Dame staff identified early in the recruiting process. With the returns coming in after another unseasonably mild weekend in South Bend, a slow-starting recruiting push in 2013 is clearly heating up.

With offensive line a priority in the ’13 recruiting class, new offensive line coach Harry Hiestand started his tenure at Notre Dame off with a bang, landing key commitments from two top-flight offensive linemen: New Lenox, Illinois’ Colin McGovern and Owensboro, Kentucky’s Hunter Bivin.

McGovern’s commitment to the Irish is a welcome surprise to a class that needed to add quality depth at the offensive line to go along with cornerstone recruit Steve Elmer. In McGovern, they certainly do that, as the six-foot-six, 280-pounder had offers from schools like Alabama, Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska, Washington and Wisconsin.  When reached for comment by’s Steve Wiltfong, McGovern cited the chemistry on the team and his comfort with the coaches as helping him pull the trigger for his childhood favorite.

“I’ve sort of been a Notre Dame fan growing up and my interest in Notre Dame is obviously high. After getting all the information and seeing what Notre Dame is all about, I felt that it was right,” McGovern told Wiltfong. “Seeing the practice and seeing how all the players and coaches are and how they interacted, and getting together with the coaches and players, those are the kind of people I want to surround myself with for the next five years of my life.”

While McGovern’s commitment was a surprise, it seemed like Bivin was an Irish lean all along. Another mammoth target, at six-foot-seven, 285-pounds, Bivin had seen his recruiting profile explode lately, with offers from Auburn, Florida, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin among a handful of other BCS options. The Kentucky native was hesitant to make an early decision on college, but in the end couldn’t help going with his hear.

Talking to Steve Hare of Irish Illustrated, Bivin, who visited South Bend with his mother, checked in with both his brother and girlfriend before taking the plunge, feeling immense pride as he thought about his late father, who passed away less than two years ago.

“My brother told me to do what my dad would have wanted me to do and I feel like he would want me to play at my dream school,” Bivin told Irish Illustrated. “Notre Dame was one of my dream schools ever since I was a little kid. Who wouldn’t take advantage of that?”

Bivin’s commitment to offensive coordinator Chuck Martin wrapped up a successful day that also saw Notre Dame make headway with nearly a dozen other recruits. The duo join Elmer, tight end Jacob Matuska, and running back / wide receiver James Onwaualu in the five-man recruiting class.

Photo courtesy of


  1. jomilly - Mar 24, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    Welcome aboard!!!! Good to see this class making some headway. Now lets get down to some cb’s, but I do like securing the horses in the trenches.

  2. degosavage23 - Mar 24, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    OL is starting to shape up pretty nicely. On to the next one (aka Jaylon Smith and Ty Isaac)

  3. fnc111 - Mar 24, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    All the big time CBs want to play down south but a kid with talent and smarts has to be looking at ND right now. A chance to play and start all four years on the biggest stage there is. Who cares if you only win 8 games a year when you will walk away playing for the most storied program ever and get an ND degree? Some stud corner you would think is going to choose ND and stick with it. Too much to pass up.

    Nice OL pick-ups today. ND needs to dominate games with its offensive line. Should never struggle to get the big guys up front.

  4. nudeman2point0 - Mar 25, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    Well … OK … sounds great
    I guess

    Hey, digression – any word on how those kids Tee, Decker, Darby and D’Tay are doing?

    OK, sorry, thumbs down is just below. I’ll get ‘er started

    Point is if we haven’t learned the “value” of early recruits by now … well …

    • papadec - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:10 AM

      nude – not so fast with the thumbs! I gave you the thumb up – I’m curious about them too. While you’re at it – throw Perkins into that curious group.

      • nudeman2point0 - Mar 25, 2012 at 11:56 AM

        I don’t remember that much about Perkins.
        Didn’t ND jettison him, vs. the other way around?

    • jerseyshorendfan1 - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:32 AM

      This new version of the nudeman is really bumming me out. Debbie Downer.

    • 1historian - Mar 25, 2012 at 9:40 PM

      I know we lost those 4 recruits, but I for one would be interested to know how many recruits we got from other teams. We didn’t lose those 4 because we didn’t keep in touch with them, we lost them because they were 18 year old kids and someone came along and them and talked them out of their commitments, just as we did to others.

      In the recruiting game there is one thing that was true yesterday, true today and true tomorrow – feces occur.

    • 1historian - Mar 25, 2012 at 9:42 PM

      I know that you are the designated cynic of our merry band and we all appreciate your efforts.

      (lest you think we take you for granted)

  5. jomilly - Mar 25, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    Well nude in your opinion when would it be a good idea to start receiving verbals, just so I know when its ok to cheer

    • nudeman2point0 - Mar 25, 2012 at 11:12 AM

      1) Just trying in my own snarky way to put into perspective the alleged value of early commits. Overhyped, in my opinion. Keith, I’d be interested in knowing what ND – or any school – can do with these guys in the way of communication, visits, etc. between now and NSD.

      2) ND just discovered, more painfully than any other school how easy it is for these kids to get itchy for attention over the next 10 months and wind up elsewhere

      3) Am I happy that ND got these guys? 100% yes. Overall it is more likely than not that they will end up in blue and gold. But not guaranteed.

      4) Keep an eye on Michigan in the coming months. They’ve already signed a huge number and clearly not all will make it to Ann Arbor.

      • 1historian - Mar 25, 2012 at 9:43 PM

        In reply to point #4 – Perhaps THEY should keep an eye on US

  6. borromini - Mar 25, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Over at the ESPN recruiting section (subscription required) there was a post about Tee Shepard talking about the health condition that precipitated his moving back home. A heart condition that was discovered by ND during a physical exam. He states that he knew about a heart condition but didn’t think it was serious. He also noted that he’ll be playing football closer to home.

    • nudeman2point0 - Mar 25, 2012 at 11:43 AM

      Sorry, I don’t buy it as the reason he’s not at ND anymore.

      Let me put it this way: Assume you are at ND as a scholarship athlete, have a “heart condition” that needs treatment, but apparently will allow you to still play football in a couple months. You have 2 choices:

      1) Get treated at ND, which provides world class medical care to its scholarship athletes. Cost: Free.

      2) Withdraw from ND, throw away your 4 year scholarship and a chance to play football at the most prestigious program in the country and get an ND education, and go to Fresno for treatment. Cost: NOT free.

      If it’s me and probably anyone else reading this, the easy pick is #1.

      I am NOT saying he doesn’t have a heart condition. I AM saying that this is a red herring as his reason for withdrawal. In the world of “where there’s smoke there’s fire”, there are big, black, choking clouds of smoke bellowing around academic and social issues.

      He is being disingenuous with us and more importantly himself.

      • bernhtp - Mar 25, 2012 at 1:04 PM

        Node: I don’t buy it either, but also don’t don’t caremuch about it. Few kids are a good fit for Notre Dame and the only notable thing about this year is that this realization came later than normal for a few of these kids. I suspect Decker will do well at OSU and Darby at FSU. Greenberry will do well at UH, albeit in obscurity. Shepard needs to get it together after his false start. Just because they didn’t make it at Notre Dame doesn’t mean they can’t have success elsewhere. I wish them all well.

      • 1historian - Mar 25, 2012 at 2:55 PM

        I don’t buy it either but that’s meaningless. It seems as if the kid is not a fit for ND and the sooner he leaves the better for him and for ND. Best of luck to him.

  7. jomilly - Mar 25, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    This article is about whos coming to ND, lets forget and move on from whos not. Go ND!!!!

  8. nudeman2point0 - Mar 25, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Couple interesting things:
    1) Irish just got another behemoth OL; Mike McGlinchey, 3 star.
    Contrary to my comment about early commits being less than a sure thing, I hereby declare that if a kid’s last name begins with “Mc” or “O’ ” or ends in “anahan” or “erety”, he BECOMES a sure thing.
    Mike McGlinchey, COME ON DOWN.

    2) Good intvw with EG on Irish Illust. This is not a kid who’s lacking in intelligence. Honest, humble and well spoken. If you’re a subscriber, check it out.

    • irishbornraised - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:46 PM

      any way to see it without being a subscriber? perhaps?

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