December 18, 2008

Kentucky junior does everything

Owensboro (KY) defensive tackle Harris Bivin does not have time to take too many plays off. The 6-foot-4, 290 lb., junior gets what he describes as "a few breathers a game" because he plays on both sides of the ball. Oh, and he is the team's kicker.

"I am on the field pretty much every play," Bivin said. "I might get one or two breathers. I play kicker too, so I have to sit out plays to change shoes because I don't want to use a square-toe shoe. So I get one or two breathers, but you have to be really conditioned and really focused and be concentrated the whole game."

Besides playing defensive tackle, Bivin also fills in as the center when the offense takes over. Becoming a kicker was something he never really planned on.

"One day in practice we were just messing around during two-a-days, and I was just kicking from like 40 yards and coach saw me kicking, and he got me the shoe," he said. "I also had a bunch of touchbacks this year on the kickoffs."

When searching for potential colleges, Bivin said staying in state would be nice, but it is not something that is crucial to his decision. So far, Bivin has fielded offers from schools inside and outside of Kentucky.

"So far, I have been talking to Kentucky, Louisville, Oklahoma, Western Kentucky, UAB, Drake and Northwestern mainly," the tackle said.

Although he has not received too much information from Missouri, the 2010 recruit has filled out questionnaires and other items for the Tigers. According to Bivin, it is a school that is of interest.

"I like the coaching staff a lot, and I like the offensive line coach," he said. "He knows what he is doing. I have been to St. Louis for baseball games and stuff. I really like the city and the state and the program too. It's a really nice program."

Bivin has been keeping up with the Tigers progress by making sure to watch them when they are on national television. The junior said that he watches the lineman, and he likes what he has seen.

"I am not the tallest," Bivin said. "I am 6-foot-4, but I know many offensive lineman are around the 6'5 or 6'6 range, but they (Missouri) do have smaller offensive lineman, and that's what I like the most. They do not just go for the biggest guys. I weigh like 290, and they have some smaller lineman, but they are still good."

When it comes to finding a permanent position in college, Bivin said there is not a set spot that he has to play.

"I really like defense a lot, but I would not mind playing offense," he said. "I know I will probably end up on offense, but I really like defense. I felt really good on defense this year, but I will probably end up on offense."

During the season, Bivin was able to win all-state, all-area and all-district on the offensive side of the ball. Part of the improvement might have come from the work he did in the offseaon.

"Last season, I had a pretty good season," the junior said. "I went over and looked at my film, and I saw what things I need to work on the most like strength and footwork. In the offseason, I got with a personal trainer, and we mainly worked with sports-specific workouts, and it improved my strength and speed a lot."

As he gets deeper in the recruiting process, the Kentucky native said he is looking to do some traveling.

"I am planning on visiting a lot of camps, and Missouri is one of them," Bivin said. "They have not set the dates yet, but Missouri is one of the ones I plan on."

The junior will also have a bigger leadership role to play as a senior on a team where he is seemingly everywhere.

"It's really important," he said. "All the guys look up to me because nobody else is really getting recruited that hard. The coaches tell me that I have to be a leader and a role model and do everything right and lead by example. I feel like I lead by example in the weight room and on the field and with my hard work."

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