In-State Offensive Lineman Sam Garvin Happy To Accept Walk-On Spot
Sam Garvin's waiting game paid off.
The offensive lineman out of Hamilton Southeastern High School in Fishers, Indiana, took his recruitment down to the wire weighing options ranging from scholarships from Ivy Leagues and Military Academies to walk-on options from IU, Ball State and Purdue.
Ultimately, the Hoosiers won out after the 6-foot-3, 265-pound prospect took an official visit at the tail end of January. He'll join the program as a preferred walk-on next fall.
"I got to see everything I needed to see at IU and got a good feeling about what it'll be like to play there," Garvin said. "I really like what Tom Allen is doing there and think there's a lot of momentum with the program. It was the right place for me."
Garvin's connection with Allen actually began long before he was born.
Allen and Garvin's parents went to high school together and have known one another for years. Garvin's father and Allen were childhood friends and played football together under Allen's father.
Allen first began recruiting Garvin a few years ago when he was still at Southern Florida but never had a reason to rekindle that relationship until he became IU's head coach. Allen and defensive line coach Mark Hagen got in touch with Garvin in early January, laid out the options and ultimately won his pledge.
"Coach Allen is a great guy," Garvin said. "My parents think really highly of him. Between the culture, him and the momentum that's going into their program, I'd say that's probably why I chose IU."
Garvin's recruitment mostly took him to the Ivy League ranks and various military academy schools. Options at Army and Air Force were intriguing, Garvin said, but he wasn't prepared to make the commitment to serving for the U.S. beyond school.
"After some thought, I realized the military lifestyle isn't for me," he said. "It's a lot more than a four-year commitment. It's a lifestyle change, so I kind of waited it out."
That wait lingered through his junior and senior seasons all while he picked up an All-Star Honorable mention for his work at Hamilton Southeastern.
In the month leading up to signing day, Garvin began hearing from Ball State, Indiana and Purdue about walk-on offers before he elected to choose the Hoosiers, in part, because of their commitment to walk-ons.
Indiana envisions Garvin playing on the interior of the offensive line whether it be the left guard, right guard or center spot. He was a center in high school but is willing to do whatever it takes to get onto the field.
"That's big for me is just being open to anything," Garvin said. "I think I can learn guard but just want to be as versatile as possible so that I can prove myself whenever I get a chance."
Garvin's height (he jokes that he's 6-foot-2 on a "good day") certainly slowed his recruitment, and he knows that. But he knows he can't teach himself how to grow into a longer, lankier lineman.
Instead, he focuses on the other aspects of his game that he can control.
"I think of myself as being more athletic than the other guy across from me," Garvin said. "I really do try and use my athleticism. I played basketball growing up, and I think basketball was a great tool for me just with getting out and moving. I take great pride in technique, you know, hand placement and hand fighting. I try to use my athleticism and combine that with being low to the ground to get that leverage you need."
Garvin, who thinks he wants to study at the Kelley School of Business, said it's a relief to have his football situation figured out after a busy, hectic few weeks leading up to signing day.
Now that he's got a landing spot, he said he's ready to go to work.
"I just kept waiting it out and waiting it out to see what would happen," Garvin said. "When IU came in, it was just incredible. I sit and think that I'm going to be playing in the Big Ten next year with the first game being against Ohio State. It's kind of unbelievable. Hopefully, I can go in there and prove myself and earn a scholarship."