Lacking depth in the defensive backfield next season after the graduation of Johnny Robinson, Devonte Morgan, Bre' Ford, and others, Terry Bowden, and the Akron coaching staff have been searching high, and low for talented prospects on the high school and junior college ranks to add to the secondary for future seasons.
With big shoes to fill, the Zips are hoping a recent class of 2015 commitment can come right in and contribute from day one. Former University of South Florida turned Highland Community College defensive back Chris Bivins accepted a chance to suit up for Akron in late November just after taking a visit to the Rubber City.
Originally a class of 2012 3-star recruit, Bivins was considered the 30th cornerback, and 421st overall prospect that year according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings. A standout for Gainesville High in Gainesville, Florida, Chris received scholarship offers from a long list of power conference programs, including Arkansas, Iowa State, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas Tech.
While Akron might not have been in the running for Bivins out of high school, his connection with current Zips cornerback coach Otis Mounds — who recruited Chris during his time at Texas Tech — and the rest of the UA staff played a huge role in him selecting them this go around.
"The defensive back coach has been recruiting me since my senior year when he was at Texas Tech. The whole coaching staff is also great. They are so family orientated, and it felt like a good spot. My former 7-on-7 teammate Larry Hope transferred there from Miami (Florida), and I want to play with him too," the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Bivins stated to Hustle Belt as a few of the reasons why he chose to continue his playing days at Akron.
Read up about the other members of the Zips' 2015 recruiting class in our Akron recruiting StoryStream. Like it and get updates on Facebook. 2015 Akron Zips football recruiting class.
Graduating from Highland Community College on the 12th of December, Bivins will arrive on the Akron campus soon and officially become a member of the football team. As expected, Bowden, Mounds and crew are looking forward to adding him to the fold. Before the coaches get their hands on him though, Bivins has a few things he is currently working on to better his overall game before he battles for a starting spot during spring drills.
"They said they love my film and love the way I could come in and do big things. They love my style of play," Bivens said. "I feel like I can lock down anyone in man-on-man, whether it's in the slot of outside. I want to work on my speed. Also, I want to work on tackling, and taking better angles, getting more lower body strength, and more fluid hips."
This season, Bivins, who could see action at corner, and safety during his time with the Zips, accounted for 38 total tackles, one sack, and one interception for the 6-5 Scotties. His play on the field led to him to be named second team All-Conference.
See what Bivins will add to the Zips with these highlights, courtesy of Hudl: