Typically when a 6-foot-7, 270 pound offensive lineman says he's athletic hemeans he's able to move well for his size. For 2013 lineman Colin McGovern (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way West) saying he's athletic includes the fact he is a pitcher for his high school team with a fastball in the low 80s.
"I wanted to lift weights [instead of playing baseball], but it came down to if I didn't play baseball I'd have to get a job, so I played baseball," he said.
Smart choice. Naturally questions about comparisons with the "Big Unit" Randy Johnson, the 6-foot-10 former MLB pitcher, arose. However, McGovern is more focused on football than other sports, and he happens to excel at it.
"I always play through the whistle and I never give up," he said. "I think my footwork is pretty good, and I know I need to work on staying low, but those are things that can be fixed."
McGovern holds one offer so far, from Northwestern, but has started to hear more and more from schools around the Big Ten. Distance won't be a huge factor for him, but he would like to stay closer to home.
"I just got a letter from Wisconsin, and Michigan came down to the school recently," he said. "I really don't have any preferences schoolwise, but I'd like to stay in the Big Ten because that's what I grew up watching."
The left tackle says he might even take a visit to Michigan as early as this weekend. The details haven't been ironed out, so that trip might be postponed, but he would like to learn more about the Wolverines.
"Michigan is a powerhouse, and their education is really great. When I'm thinking of schools, the education comes first," he said. "I watched a few of their games this season and Michigan really displayed what kind of team they were."
The order of importance for him when it comes to his recruitment will be the education a program provides, the football program, and then potentially the conference that particular school plays in.
McGovern hasn't figured out a timeline for a decision yet, and he has plenty of time to do so. He has gone back and forth on whether he would like to get his decision out of the way early, or see what schools come after him. He isn't, however, afraid to make a decision if he knows it's right.
"If the right offer comes at the right time then I'll definitely take it," he said. "I don't really have a plan, but I'd like to commit by next year. If it doesn't come to that then that's OK, too."