McGovern Reflects On Journey

The journey from high school prospect to one of the top recruits in the country can be a magical ride. Add to that your future team climbing to No. 1 and that excitement level goes off the charts. 2013 Irish pledge Colin McGovern reflects on his recruiting journey as he prepares for life at Notre Dame.

Colin McGovern received a lot of attention during the recruiting process as one of the top offensive linemen in the country. But an early pledge to Notre Dame took a lot of the pressure off his shoulders and allowed him to enjoy his senior season at Lincoln Way (Ill.) West High School until a loss in the playoffs.

McGovern knows while he still has plenty of football left to play, the time spent with his high school teammates will always be special.

"I'm sure you hear from everyone who plays but it's pretty tough knowing you're not going to be playing with the same guys you've been playing with over the past two years," said McGovern. "In a way it's sort of depressing as you go to school with them every day and have classes with them and are with them all the time. So just knowing you're not going to play with any of them anymore is kind of sad."

Despite the early exit in the playoffs McGovern feels he took positive steps in getting prepared for his future with the Irish.

"I felt as the season went on I became more explosive out of my stance," said McGovern. "Especially in run blocking. I also feel in the passing game I worked on getting my pass sets even better and that was probably my strong point throughout the season.

"Over the past two years I've not given up a single sack and only had a couple of holding calls. So it was definitely a big year for improvement and I'm looking to do the same this off season before heading into Notre Dame."

While several members of the Irish class will look to report early, McGovern thought things through and came away with a different plan.

"Right now I'm planning on going (to South Bend) in the first or second week of June," said McGovern. "I was thinking about going early, but felt I wouldn't feel right about it."

With the success of this year's Irish team McGovern couldn't help but think about his future. "You know I was just thinking about it," said McGovern. "It's kind of weird thinking that next year I'm going to be out there wearing the Blue and Gold instead of our school colors. It's sort of weird to think about it but I guess it hasn't really hit me yet because I don't know what it's going to be like for sure. But I'm thinking about it a little bit."

McGovern attended several home games this season, giving him a glimpse of his future.

"All the game I've been to they've won and the atmosphere is great out there," said McGovern. "I couldn't be happier that I picked Notre Dame. It's crazy as they've had a great season this year and I just hope they can continue that into next season. Hopefully by the time I'm out there we can keep it rolling and start up another dynasty.

"But you have to worry about this season and take each season one at a time. But just thinking about it is great as you kind of think about how you can impact the program and be part of it. I know for a fact if I was out there this year, I would be going crazy knowing we've gone undefeated. So it's definitely pretty cool thinking about being there next year."

Over the past year, several members of the Irish recruiting class have built strong bonds. Who among his future teammates has McGovern built early relationships with?

"The O-line," said McGovern. "Especially Steven Elmer and Hunter Bivin as they've been to a lot of the games I've been at. So I've just been tagging along. I've also seen Steven at 'The Opening' and down at Notre Dame camp this past summer.

"Hunter is going to be down in Florida for the Under Armour game so it's not like the only time we've seen each other are when we're at Notre Dame. We're staying in touch and that's been pretty cool."

While McGovern's path looks solid now, it wasn't long ago the 6-foot-7, 292-pound lineman wasn't certain football was for him.

"I was ready to quit football my freshman year," said McGovern. "But football has taught me discipline and toughness while also teaching me to fight for your family and give everything you've got and never go down without a fight."

As for getting the invite to take part in the Under Armour game, McGovern was honored and surprised.

"Being in the Under Armour game is a massive honor," said McGovern. "When I first got the call I was stunned as the call came from an Alabama phone number and I had no clue what it was about. But two days after I had hashed things over, I committed to the game.

"Having watched the game on television and thinking about how all these kids are the best competitors in the country makes it a big deal and to get invited there to go against these other great recruits is an honor."

McGovern is sure of one thing he'll always remember about the recruiting process:

"I'd say at this point, just going out to Notre Dame (often) and seeing all the games while getting the best treatment was not a bad deal," said McGovern. "Looking back I really don't remember much about all the other schools I visited."


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