Humble Beginnings

Colin McGovern had no major interest as he played throughout his sophomore and junior year, but the Illinois junior offensive lineman has picked up seven BCS offers in two months. Even though schools like Wisconsin and Michigan have come calling in the last week, McGovern hasn't changed his approach.

MADISON - As of late, it seems Lincoln Way West (Ill) offensive lineman Colin McGovern gets a phone call from his head coach every other morning, telling him to come in early. McGovern's coach never specifies why but while some would assume the worse, the 6-6, 280-pound lineman assumes the opposite.

"It's happened three or four times," McGovern told Badger Nation. "When he calls, I am assuming I have another good opportunity. I just don't know from who."

The calls were impressive last week, as McGovern got two offers from a who's who of Big Ten football when Wisconsin and Michigan came through with scholarship offers in a four day span.

It started on Monday when McGovern was called in to return a message from Wisconsin defensive coordinator Chris Ash, who has started to make his imprint in Illinois in his third season as a UW assistant.

"I talked with him for a little while before he put me on the phone with Coach Bielema, who offered me a scholarship," McGovern said. "Coach Ash only came into my school one time and I really didn't talk to him at all, so it was pretty exciting."

McGovern admits he didn't know much about Wisconsin before the offer, but he plans to get better acquainted with the program, the coaches and the players this weekend during Wisconsin's junior day.

"Coach Bielema said he likes my ability to stay low through blocks along with my speed and my athleticism," said McGovern. "I am excited to learn more about them this weekend."

The offer from Michigan and offensive line coach Darrell Funk was equally surprising, although this offer came after school Thursday before McGovern's workout season. With Funk having visited him a handful of times, a routine chat in the athletic director's office yielded another opportunity.

"(The Michigan offer) caught me off guard, too, because I didn't even know my coach was talking to Coach Funk," McGovern said. "He offered me right there. We've developed a pretty good relationship, so it's an exciting offer. I believe I am heading out there March 10."

In addition to Michigan and Wisconsin, McGovern has offers from Illinois, Iowa, Northwestern, Tennessee and West Virginia. Every offer except Northwestern came after he performed admirably at the Core 6 Winter Showcase outside Chicago in mid January.

"It feels nice overall just because they came out of nowhere," McGovern said. "It's a good problem to have. I had a good outing (at Core 6) and since then, it's definitely been busy."

Although his profile suggests he's been a highly sought after recruit for multiple years, McGovern's road to scholarship offers has been a humble one. Transferring from Lincoln Way Central and having not played varsity football at his previous stop, McGovern didn't start becoming noticed until his coach flooded mailboxes with McGovern's highlight tape.

It's one of the reasons McGovern takes the whole process in stride.

"It's pretty easy to stay composed," McGovern said. "I don't think I am different (than before Wisconsin and Michigan offered). I don't brag about it to people or go around boasting about it. I know that if I am not careful or an injury comes or I start taking it easy, all of this can go away."

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