6-5, 310-pound Hylton (Woodbridge, VA) offensive line recruit William Alvarez has seen his recruitment explode during the month of May. He entered the evaluation period with single-digit offers, but has since seen his offer list easily reach double-digits and the number keeps growing.
"It's been exciting," Hylton head coach Lou Sorrentino said.
Alvarez has offers from schools in the ACC, Big East, Big 10 and SEC. Florida, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, N.C. State, Penn State, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech and West Virginia are among the programs that have offered. A new major Division 1A program came in yesterday as well.
"LSU offered [yesterday]," Sorrentino said. "I knew they were coming in. I think they wanted to eyeball Will a little bit because they had seen him on film. When the guy left he told me they were going to offer him. Basically, Will passes the eyeball test and has been doing so all month."
Alvarez has added 10 pounds of muscle since last season, moving his weight up to 310 pounds. Coaches have been extremely impressed with the way he looks in person, which has been a big reason for the amount of offers that have come in.
"He looks good," Sorrentino said. "I think when they see him in person his stock goes up even further. He's a good athlete. He's just still learning the game. He's a real raw kid who just played offensive line really for the first time last year. I think everybody sees a big upside to him. He's got a little nastiness in him. I think he could play any of the five spots on the offensive line."
Sorrentino praised Alvarez for the way he has handled the increased attention.
"I think he's doing a great job," Sorrentino said. "I think he's got a lot of people around him to help him stay grounded. The big thing is that he's got work to do outside of this like to get qualified. He's got good offers, so the point now is for him to look at what's important and maybe think about narrowing it down."
Alvarez has been keeping a list of positives for each program that has offered, something he hopes will help when it comes time to narrow his list. There is no timeline in place in terms of when Alvarez will cut down his list of options.
"More than anything else, there are so many people coming thru that we wanted to put some things down," Sorrentino said. "We made some categories we thought were important and we put some things down in writing just so we aren't relying on memory. The categories vary, but one of the things we talk about is the coaching staff. You've got the head coach, the offensive line coach and then you've got the recruiting guy. He put down who he's had contact with in terms of offensive line coach. Miami sent their offensive line coach up to meet him and I think that was a good move. But anyway, he put some things down because these are all quality programs. And I think he's such a likable guy and he's so easy to please that I think he'll have a tough time saying no."
A decision before the start of his senior season seems unlikely.
"At this point I would doubt he makes a decision before the season," Sorrentino said. "Only because I think this thing is wide enough and I think he owes it to himself to see if there is something that intrigues him. I know there are some schools he'd at least like to check out. I think he does like the local ones. Like I said, next school year he's got some things he's got to do and in some ways it might be better just to say this is the school that's in my heart and that's where I want to go. I see it the other way for him. We'll see. If I were a betting man, I'd say he'll play this out at least a little bit."
In a previous article, Alvarez seemed impressed with some "local" programs including Maryland, Penn State (schools within 3 or 4 hours away are considered local by coach Sorrentino), Virginia and Virginia Tech. Sorrentino believes Alvarez is open to a lot of programs but, at the same time, believes the local programs will play heavily into the mix.
"I think he is open-minded," Sorrentino said. "I think the local schools were on early and I think they're going to be on until the end. I don't think any school has done a bad job recruiting him, and that's the reason for the categories…to help him do things for the right reasons. He does like the local schools, though."
Among the in-state programs, UVa has received an unofficial visit while Virginia Tech has not. That should change in the coming month or so.
"He hasn't been to Virginia Tech yet and that's one of the things we want to do here in the real near future," Sorrentino said. "We were planning on doing it over the spring break and we ended up going to some other schools instead. I kind of promised the coaches there and Will that that's probably the next trip we're taking and probably real soon. My goal is for him to see the local schools first and then you can start to weigh different things and figure out what appeals to you."
Both Virginia Tech and Virginia are doing a good job in this recruitment.
"Coach Beamer did come by," Sorrentino said. "He was here early and that was important for Virginia Tech. Of the three of Maryland, Virginia and Virginia Tech, I think he knows the least about Virginia Tech. He knows they've been successful and I think he's eager to see what they have to offer. Virginia's done a good job. They were here even before Tech and they came with a large number of staff. Everybody but coach Groh, really. I think Will feels comfortable with those guys and coach Poindexter has done a real good job recruiting him."
Besides a visit to Virginia Tech, Sorrentino says North Carolina, N.C. State and West Virginia are possible visit destinations. Alvarez may make visits to programs further away as well, but a lot depends on figuring out his summer schedule. He plans on attending summer school to help boost his grades, so the visit schedule will have to work around his school schedule.
Academically, Alvarez had his best quarter this past quarter. He has been working hard and doing well and, assuming everything goes as planned in summer school, should be in much better position heading into the fall.