Jul 26, 2014, 11:17 AM EDT
Notre Dame will continue to recruit Chicago for top football talent. And in sophomore Colin McGovern, the Irish landed one of the area’s top offensive linemen. Recruited by Harry Hiestand and then-offensive coordinator Chuck Martin, McGovern is just one of many blue-chippers to flood the depth chart up front.
Even as a redshirt, McGovern managed to catch the eye of his head coach with his work on the scout team and during preparations for Rutgers and the Pinstripe Bowl. While he’s not slotted for a starting spot this fall, McGovern is a talent to contend with, ready to make his presence felt as his eligibility clock begins.
Let’s take a closer look at the Chicagoland product.
6’4.5″ 312 lbs.
Sophomore, No. 62
McGovern is another national target that Hiestand landed, seemingly hand-picking the young talent that he wants to bring in to challenge for a job on an offensive line that’s getting very competitive. While Rivals saw him as a three-star prospect, 247 gave him a four-star review, and his offers seem to match that profile.
The Chicagoland product was a first-team 5A All-State and All-City performer by just about every measure, and had offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska and several others before closing down his recruitment in March. Here’s what Brian Kelly had to say about McGovern on Signing Day.
“Colin is more than just a player from the Midwest; he’s a physical, strong guy that can play inside for us,” Kelly said. “Here’s another guy that came up to camp, and we got a chance to see him in person, and that makes such a big difference to us. He’ll be a nice player for us working inside out.”
Freshman Season (2013): Did not see action.
McGovern was seemingly just another lineman in the pack until bowl preparations began. That’s when the redshirt freshman started getting noticed by fans and media, drawing praise from Kelly for his work in December. That continued during the spring, where McGovern filled some depth holes by moving around the offensive line, taking some reps at tackle as well.
Reading too much into UND.com practice reports is a dangerous business, but every rep we saw McGovern take was a good one, and it appears that McGovern isn’t just willing to wait for Christian Lombard to graduate before making his play for a starting job. That’s a wonderful sign for the future health of the Irish offensive line.
It’s still likely too soon to see McGovern challenge for a starting job, but if injuries hit like they did last year, expect McGovern to be one of the players to get a call. Right now, you’ll likely see No. 62 playing offensive line on special teams, a nice transitional year before heading into stiff competition for Christian Lombard’s right guard job, the only spot that currently projects vacant in 2015.
McGovern is one of the top under-the-radar prospects on the team. His versatility and size should let him find the field in a utility role if necessary, but even if that doesn’t happen in 2014, the future looks very bright for McGovern.
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Torii Hunter Jr.
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