The Best So Far

Granted, Lincoln Way West (Ill) offensive lineman Colin McGovern has not taken my unofficial visits to the schools on his growing scholarship list. Even so, the experience the University of Wisconsin gave him over the weekend sets the bar pretty high.

MADISON - Having a Wisconsin scholarship in his hip pocket without having seen the campus, Colin McGovern was understandably anxious to start taking closer looks at the schools that have extended him offers.

It appears Wisconsin has set the bar pretty high.

"Wisconsin was my best unofficial visit so far," McGovern told Badger Nation over the weekend. "The one thing that I saw that other schools haven't shown me is taking me on a tour of the campus. I know that's a pretty basic thing, but I've only been to campuses to see bowl practices or a basketball game or a football game. It was the first time I really got to take a tour around campus and see what it looked like.

"It was absolutely beautiful. It would be a great place to live."

McGovern – a 6-6, 280-pound offensive tackle from Lincoln Way West (Ill) HS - also got to experience the wide range of personalities on the offensive line. With Wisconsin utilizing its ‘player panel' (having current players and recruits sit down in a one-on-one setting to answer questions), McGovern got to talk to seven Wisconsin offensive linemen that told him and the other o-line recruits about the daily routine and some of the struggles they experienced in their freshman year.

"We got to ask them questions and get the player's view on things opposed to the recruiter's and coaches' views on that school," McGovern said. "That was a pretty interesting thing to see and really showed that what the coaches were saying wasn't fabricated things to make their school sound better.

"It was interesting to hear how they have mandatory study hall, and how you have to stay on campus until you earn their trust to move on campus. You got to see both sides of that and how it helps players succeed. We also heard about the different situations guys were in like Rob Havenstein. He was a special case where he came in over 350 pounds and he talked about how UW has special programs to get him to the right weight. That was pretty cool to see, even though you could tell he was a little embarrassed by it. It showed they have a way to get every guy into their top shape."

McGovern said his conversations with UW coach Bret Bielema and recruiting contact Chris Ash revealed that Wisconsin is looking to take between two or three offensive lineman in the 2013 class. Both also said that McGovern is one of their top targets.

"The dialogue was pretty positive with them," McGovern said. "I was a little nervous when I met Coach Bielema, but he was a real personable guy and I was able to have a real conversation with him, me and my dad. The whole staff are real genuine guys. They are really interested in me and I am really interested in them."

In addition to Wisconsin, McGovern has offers from Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Tennessee and West Virginia. The Irish were the latest school to offer on Tuesday.

McGovern is currently planning officials to Iowa, Michigan (March 10), Northwestern (April 6), Notre Dame (March 24), Ohio State, Tennessee (March 3), Vanderbilt (March 2) and likely Wisconsin again over the next two months.

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