McFarrin commits to Olivet
Sometimes, the difference is as simple as the spoken word versus the typed word.
It was that personal approach with Olivet Nazarene football coach Eric Hehman that made the greatest impact in Lyric McFarrin’s decision to play for the NAIA school in Bourbonnais, Illinois. The Michigan City running back and La Porte County Offensive Player of the Year verbally committed to the Olivet on Friday and plans to sign his national letter of intent this weekend.
“My dad (Lawrence) had a huge part in me making the decision and he talked about how the Olivet coach called and the Marian coach texted,” McFarrin said. “I felt that embrace from the first time we met. (Hehman) was truthful in everything he was saying. They were patient. He showed confidence in me. He didn’t even know if I was going to be as part of the team and he treated me as if I was already there. They told me their plans and they followed through on them. The way they kept their word, that’s worth more than any full ride a school can give me. Those are the type of people you want to have involved in your life.”
In the end, McFarrin chose Olivet over Marian with the College of DuPage his alternative if he was unable to meet his academic requirements. McFarrin took the SAT once and the ACT twice since December before finally hitting the required score of 860 on the SAT recently.
“That was the biggest sigh of relief, bigger than finding out I could play a full season (as a junior),” he said. “That was so stressful. The first time, I got an 830. I’m good at English and writing, but I’m not good at Math. Honestly, 95 percent of the questions, I guessed on them. I prayed. I felt like my future was decided by God.”
Olivet didn’t waver on its commitment through the nearly four-month process, a show of faith that wasn’t lost on McFarrin.
“(Hehman) was always on me, texting me,” he said. “They waited. Other schools backed off. I’m not too mad. At the end of the day, it’s a business. There were coaches I spoke to previously who told me to send paperwork and I never heard back from them. Just tell me you’re not interested. That’s fine. I thought that was a little disrespectful. Everything happened for a reason. If I was supposed to be somewhere else, I would be somewhere else.”
McFarrin will receive a scholarship package to Olivet, whose tuition and fees for 2019-20 are estimated at over $37,000 by collegetuitioncompare.com.
“They told me when I committed, they weren’t going to offer any other backs,” he said. “I felt like it was a no-brainer. A scholarship doesn’t always say how they are as people. I talked to my parents and they talked about responsibility, growing up. Everything (about Olivet) lines up with my views. It’s a Christian school, I’m a Christian, just how real the coaches were. The players embraced me on Twitter, talking about me coming there. It felt like home, plus it’s only an hour away.”
Jayvion Daniels rushed for 1,382 as a freshman for Olivet (6-5 in 2018), but McFarrin said he is expected to contribute right away.
“They believe we can both be 1,000-yard rushers,” McFarrin said. “The last time that happened (there) was 2002. It’ll probably be a mix of the backfield and the slot to start. I plan on contributing from day one. I’ve got to earn it. I feel hungry. I have my own expectations and the team is talking up the season. I want to start next week.”