Needing a Super Start

After going to over a half dozen camps, Madison West senior offensive lineman Aidan McNamara knows what he needs to do in order to earn preferred walk-on or scholarship offers.

MADISON - With the start of his high school football season just over a month away, Madison West offensive lineman Aidan McNamara knows how his first three games against Verona, Janesville Craig and Madison La Follette could have a major impact on his future.

He also knows that it's a fact of life he simply can't think about.

Arguably one of the best seniors in Wisconsin's capital city, McNamara has been busy on the camp circuit. Over the past three weeks, McNamara has been to four Big Ten camps (Indiana, Minnesota, Purdue and Wisconsin) and two Ivy League camps (Harvard and Yale). He also has attended the Northwestern Showcase and will head to North Dakota State for his final camp on July 21.

"I didn't want to narrow down any of my chances anywhere," McNamara told Badger Nation. "I liked a lot of the places I went to and I wanted to get a feel for the coaches, the program and the facilities outside of a junior day setting."

As a result, the 6-4, 290-pound McNamara said the schools he camped at along with Dartmouth and Brown indicated that they want to see early season game film to further evaluate him.

"I always keep it in the back of my mind, but I try not to think about it too much," said McNamara. "It keeps me working and keeps me from getting lazy over the summer. I don't let it psyche me out too much. It keeps me determined."

One school that figures to be in the mix for McNamara from a preferred walk-on standpoint is Minnesota. McNamara has connections to the Minneapolis community, an uncle and aunt that are professors at Minnesota and could walk-on with the Gophers for the same cost of in-state tuition due to the reciprocity agreement between the states.

"I think my best camp was at Minnesota and the O-Line coach (Matt Limegrover) said that he would really love to work with me," said McNamara. "He said I did a really great job at camp. I know they are low on scholarships, so we'll have to see what happens. It was definitely some of the best feedback that I got."

That high level of interest, however, wasn't the same at Wisconsin. After having developed a relationship with former offensive line coach Bob Bostad, who had been watching McNamara since middle school, McNamara hasn't had a lot of dialogue with the new staff. Even so, he spent three days at the Badgers' camp soaking up as much knowledge as he could.

"I think the Wisconsin camp pretty well and they gave me a chance to get a lot of reps," said McNamara. "Most of the coaches liked my footwork. I have pretty good footwork. I need to work on keeping my hands in consistently. It was a pretty good camp. They really emphasized putting all your cleats in the ground when you are pass blocking. That's something I need to work on and is important."


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