There is nothing more exciting than National Signing Day for recruits, as they can officially commit to the school of their choice. Lincoln-Way West senior offensive tackle Colin McGovern was no different, as he had already given his verbal to the Irish after attending Notre Dame’s junior day event, but as most kids, was eager to make it official. While other recruits had their focus purely on their one chance of a national announcement, the 6’6 290lb lineman from New Lenox, IL had other things on his mind.
Originally diagnosed as just a “tweaked” knee that would require a couple of months rest, McGovern took the advice of his physician and made a conscious decision to rest and protect the knee. Sadly, after months of rest, and not a lot of progress in terms of the knee getting better, Colin and his family decided to seek another opinion. Finally it was discovered that he had completely torn his MCL (medial collateral ligament), and that major knee surgery would be required. We asked Colin what type of affect this had on him and his family –
Actually it was sort of nice hearing the news. Here I am going though physical therapy three times a week, and there was not much improvement, and in some ways it was getting worse. Finally hearing that (surgery) is what has to be done, but you will be better, was a relief. We finally saw clear evidence of the tear after the MRI, and believe it or not that was a good thing. Now on the other side, it was a little scary going under the knife, because that’s never fun, but still it was something that had to be done. All around though, it was a very good thing to finally know and understand what the problem was.
Obviously the road to recovery is a long one for Colin(6 months), and it is no easy task watching the class that you came in with start to prepare for the upcoming season while you are stuck in a rehabilitation program. Although these types of injuries and rehabs can be difficult to deal with, the young man from Illinois said he is keeping the right mindset , and has found ways to combat the disappointment.
Well hopefully in about two more weeks I will be walking. I have been able to walk a little here and there, even though I am not really supposed to be. I really can’t complain though as physical therapy is going really well. Now it’s a matter of building my quad and hamstring areas up, and then I will be on my way, and able to do some more active stuff. Most people never consider working out fun, but last year some the best times I had, were working out with my teammates.
It’s that type of stuff, like not seeing our progress as a group in the weight room this upcoming year, that will be rough. Here is my thinking, is that even if I was to go out there this year healthy, I most likely would have been redshirted anyway. It’s a difficult thing for a first year linemen to start at the college level, but it will still be hard to see everyone in our recruiting class way ahead of me and trying to catch up with them.
While he may not be able to participate in the typical preparation a young recruit would be doing as they ready themselves for their first year in college and major college football, we asked Colin what are some of things he can work on to improve his game while he is rehabbing.
I watch some film from this year, as we had a great season, but other than that I really haven’t been able to do all that much. I am still at the point right now where certain positions hurt my knee, so I haven’t hit the weight room yet. I am thinking that once I get the clearance to walk, I will be in the weight room, and that’s where I will start hitting the bench a lot and working the upper body. I have to be smart about everything, but I am going to do as much as I can.
To no one’s surprise, it can be extremely tedious and mundane going through the rigors of rehab, and it most definitely can take a toll of you physically and mentally. Colin seems to have the right attitude though, and has found his own way of staying positive about a unfavorable situation. He spoke about how important his support group has been through this whole ordeal.
Right after surgery you get a bunch of texts and that’s nice, but it’s family that’s by your side. I am completely blessed to have my family, especially my immediate family, my Mom, my Dad, my Sister to help me though everything. You have your friends, and they are hoping you doing OK, but you’re not seeing them on a daily basis and they can’t be there by side the entire time. All the people that have helped me through this, I just can’t say thank you to all of them enough. Without them, I probably would have had a totally different mindset and probably would have been very negative about the whole ordeal. My family definitely kept me up the entire time.
So while the future of this year is still uncertain for the 4* Irish commit, the approach he has taken is an admirable one. We will catch back up with Colin as the season approaches and hopefully he will have a better understanding of what the immediate future has in store for him.