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It was les than a year ago when Colin McGovern (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way West) was a relatively unknown commodity on the football field. College coaches were hearing the name, but there was hardly any serious interest. When McGovern made his first college visit to Ohio State last season for the Penn State game, he was hardly a marquee name on the visitor list.

In fact, Ohio State had only reached out to him a few days before the Nov. 19 game to gauge his interest in an unofficial visit.

That's when things began to take off for McGovern. The next few weeks that followed were filled with visits, interest from coaching staffs and his first official offer from Northwestern.

"Getting to Northwestern and getting my first offer first thing at 9 a.m. in the morning, that was definitely the biggest surprise," McGovern said. "After visiting Ohio State, I didn't think I'd get an offer for a while or still would have to play my senior season and prove myself."

The Notre Dame commit has nothing left to prove after receiving his jersey during the 2013 Under Armour All-America Game as part of the American Family Insurance Selection Tour.

"It's definitely amazing what happened over those couple of months," McGovern said.

Last week, McGovern watched his good friend Logan Tuley-Tillman, an ESPN 150 OL, receive his jersey. Watching the experience on his computer made McGovern anxious as he waited for his own ceremony to roll around. Still, he did not want to prepare a speech and just let his emotions and words come naturally.

With the ceremony now out of the way, McGovern is counting down the days until he gets to Florida to participate in the nationally televised event. He wants to see some of the other big-time recruits, including future teammate and fellow ESPN 150 lineman Hunter Bivin. McGovern and Bivin are Nos. 7 and 8, respectively, in the nation among tackles.

"It'll be a great experience, not only getting to know more about him off the field but being able to see him on the field, too, and sort of get that chemistry of playing together," McGovern said.

As exciting and surprising of a year as it has been for McGovern, he is glad it has tempered somewhat since his commitment to the Irish back in March. McGovern's coach told him that his recruitment would snowball after his first offer rolled in. He was skeptical. But then Michigan offered, followed by Ohio State, Wisconsin, Iowa and then even national champion Alabama came calling.

The offers and new interest was nice, but he found what he was looking for relatively quick.

"The family feeling with the rest of the commits, it's a pretty special feeling having that place you belong to," he said. "You're no longer going around and shopping yourself."