Hunter Bivin (Offensive Linem 6'7" 287 pounds)The four-star prospect from Owensboro, Kentucky, offered the following of Notre Dame's close-knit 2013 class and the five-man offensive line haul in particular:
"We were talking to coach (Brian) Kelly, and he said we're the first group he's had in a long, long time that's already got that family mindset. It's really important as offensive linemen to get to know each other and be friends and be able to predict each other's movements.
"It's definitely really cool, and I think it's going to pay off for us in the long run."
Veterans returning on the Offensive Line: 5th-year seniors Zack Martin (LT) and Chris Watt (LG), redshirt-juniors Christian Lombard (RT), *Tate Nichols (RT) and Bruce Heggie (G), redshirt-sophomores Conor Hanratty (G), Nick Martin (C/T/G), and Matt Hegarty (C/T), redshirt-freshmen Ronnie Stanley (OT) and Mark Harrell ©
*Nichols career remains in question due to a recurring knee injury.
Berk on Bivin While some wonder about the level of completion he's played at the high school level, Bivin has all the physical skills needed to excel at the college level. Capable of playing all five positions along the line, Bivin's best football is still ahead of him as he gets bigger and stronger.
Dohn on Bivin: Bivin's length and his ability to keep defensive ends from getting around him to the outside standout, and he has a jolting first punch. He also has a solid kick slide, but he needs to work on improving his quickness and not being susceptible to the inside rush.
O'Malley's Initial SlottingNot all of the 2013 tackle quartet will remain outside. Of the group, Bivin appears one likely to receive an initial evaluation at center, a position of present and potentially future need for Brian Kelly's Irish.
Bivin noted a willingness to play any of the line's five positions in an interview with Irisheyes.com recruiting analyst Dave Berk, as well as some experience at center (including during the Under Armour All-American game last month.
"I played center my sophomore season and on and off during my junior season," said Bivin. "So it wasn't the first time I had to play there. We kind of had a knucklehead at center last year who liked to get kicked out of games and I had to fill in for him a little big. So I just had to shake the rust off a little big and do what I had to do."
Regardless, Bivin appears one set for a season of scout team action as he grows into a more developed, athletic collegiate frame. With the exception of 5th-years Martin (LT) and Watt (LG), redshirt-sophomore Hanratty (G) and redshirt-freshmen Harrell ©and Stanley (T), Notre Dame's offensive line competitors appear to be in a state of positional flux. More will be known regarding Bivin's initial and 2014 spring position evaluation when the team breaks camp next August.
Links of Note: Click the links below for more highlight reels and comprehensive recruitment information for Hunter Bivin: