Willy Ivery talks about decision to play for UNT, recruiting notes

Persistence finally paid off today.

I talked to Willy Ivery.

Those of you who have been following along probably read here — and elsewhere — a few days ago that the Sulphur Springs do-it-all player committed to UNT.

The question is how would he fit in.

Ivery was recruited as a running back, one that UNT can use as a wide receiver out of the backfield and move into the slot at times. UNT sold the 5-foot-8, 181-pound senior on the idea of filling a role similar to the one Lance Dunbar played.

The connection UNT has with the Sulphur Springs program helped UNT in the recruiting process with Ivery. He knew of UNT offensive lineman Mason Y’Barbo and used to watch him play for Sulphur Springs while he was in middle school. It also helped UNT that punter Blake Macek is on the team. Macek, another Sulphur Springs product, took Ivery around while he was at UNT.

Offensive line coach Mike Simmonds recruited Ivery, who also got to know offensive coordinator Mike Canales along the way. Both were at Ivery’s house this week to talk over his potential role with the Mean Green.

Ivery said UNT’s coaches want him to be ready to play right away. The fact UNT uses several backs instead of riding one helped the Mean Green’s cause.

“I have been talking to them since the beginning of the season and the campus is close,” Ivery said. “I liked coach Simmonds and all the coaches. So did my parents.”

Ivery was a first-team All-District 14-4A selection and was the Offensive MVP league last season. He was also named second-team all-state.

Ivery had offers from New Mexico, New Mexico State, Colorado State, Texas State, Toledo and Houston. He stopped talking to all of those schools about a month ago. He was settled on UNT, unless major conference school showed interest. When none did, Ivery went with his gut feeling and committed to UNT.

See Wednesday’s paper for more.

And in a side note:

Waco Midway offensive lineman Christian Beard is visiting with the offensive line coach from Toledo tonight. He has been a UNT target for months.

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