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Robbie Georgevich, left, tour manager with the Under Armour All-America High School Football Game holds up a jersey with Colin McGovern of Lincoln-Way West, at the school in New Lenox, IL on Thursday October 11, 2012. Colin will play in the game which wil
A couple of years ago, Lincoln-Way West senior offensive tackle Colin McGovern was at Lincoln-Way Central and fancied himself a baseball player.
He was ready to quit football when then-Central coach Tim Dougherty talked him into playing one more year, his sophomore season.
He was excited about transferring from Central to West after his sophomore year because he thought his baseball opportunities might be better with the Warriors. But his sophomore season with the Knights wound up being his last on the diamond. Football took over. Funny how things work out sometime.
McGovern’s teammates, his mom, Dawn, and dad, Brian, and hundreds of students were in the West cafeteria Thursday morning for the ceremony where the 6-foot-5, 285-pound McGovern received his honorary jersey for the Under Armour All-America Football Game, which will be played at 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.
“This is a great opportunity, to play with and against the best players in the country,” McGovern said. “Hopefully there will be a great turnout at the game. It’s a special feeling to get all this attention. I wasn’t sure about it at first because I didn’t know how my teammates and others would take it.
“That’s one of the big things that has happened, no one has held it against me. I couldn’t be more thankful for the group of guys I have had the pleasure of playing with the last two years.”
It may be a long way from over, too. The Warriors (4-3) finish their home season Friday against Thornwood. They may clinch a playoff berth with a victory, but to be sure, they also could use a victory next week in the regular-season finale at Bradley. And once you get into the playoffs, who knows?
West coach Dave Ernst said the success the Warriors are having comes thanks in no small part to his left tackle’s contributions.
“The way Colin goes is how we go,” Ernst said. “He sets the tempo, and everyone feeds off his energy level. The last few weeks, he has really started to realize that.”
Ernst, who has coached in the area for 24 years, has guided several players who have gone on to wear NFL uniforms, among them Eric Steinbach, Pete Bercich, Rob Ninkovich and Brandon Johnson. He said none of them received this honor. McGovern is the first.
“Usually in a situation like this there are a lot of jealousies,” Ernst said. “But Colin is a likable kid. That’ why I’m so happy for him, because of the kind of kid he is.
“This cafeteteria is never this full. The whole school is excited for him.”
McGovern has committed to Notre Dame — he plans to attend Saturday’s game against Stanford — and the Irish have to like what they have seen this season.
“Colin has played through the aches and pains that everyone has and he is getting better all the time,” Ernst said. “He had his best game last week.”
Joliet Catholic running back Ty Isaac, who will play at Southern Califnronia, received his jersey for the Under Armour game during a Wednesday ceremony, and Lemont offensive lineman Ethan Pocic, who committed to Louisiana State, will receive his Under Armour jersey during a Friday ceremony.