McGovern: I Am Ready For The Next Level
The plan all along was to wait and see how the season played out. Or at least until the Week 10 game against Wisconsin. Connor McGovern figured by that time, he would have a pretty good idea of whether or not he was going skip his senior season and declare for the NFL Draft or return to Penn State for his final year.
The Wisconsin game came and went, and McGovern had pretty much made up his mind that he was going to leave Penn State early. He made it official on Wednesday afternoon via his Twitter account that he was indeed making himself eligible for the NFL Draft.
And now, McGovern is getting ready to go to the prom — what it is referred to as at the EXOS training facility in Pensacola, Florida, a company that specializes in preparing college football players for the NFL.
“Throughout the season, since the summer, I was hearing from agents and things like that,” McGovern said from Pensacola, Florida, where he will be staying for the next few months prepping for the draft.
“Halfway through the season, my parents and I started talking. Toward the end of the season, things really started ramping up. At the beginning of the year, we were going to wait until the Wisconsin game. The next thing you knew, we were playing Wisconsin. We had a lot of talks and that is what it came to.”
Relying on the information and feedback provided to him by Penn State coach James Franklin and a few other coaches on staff, McGovern, a Lake-Lehman grad who started 34 games during his career at Penn State, felt the time was right to head to the NFL.
“Before the bowl game, I had a meeting with the coaches,” McGovern said. “I sat down with coach Franklin a couple times, and we talked. He supported everything I was doing. He was telling me things he was finding out. That really made it easier. He agreed with everything I did.”
McGovern was one of several Penn State players to declare for the draft, including defensive linemen Shareef Miller and Kevin Givens. Offensive lineman Ryan Bates also announced he was leaving. On Thursday, running back Miles Sanders made it official that he will be putting his name in for the draft.
“I think that shows a lot of just how much the guys improved over the last couple of years,” McGovern said of the players deciding to leave early. “We’re just ready for the next step. It was a lot of fun playing with them. We had a lot of great experiences.”
It’s been a hectic few days for McGovern since the Citrus Bowl game on Tuesday. Wednesday he signed with his agent, Joel Segal, settled into his apartment in Pensacola, and had his first training session on Thursday morning at EXOS, a facility where he will train two times a day for six days a week. It is where he will prepare for the NFL Combine, though he won’t know until the end of January if he will be officially invited. He said the prospects are promising.
McGovern said he expects there to be close to 30 draft prospects training at the facility beginning next week when the majority of the players will begin to filter in.
“You are basically training for the combine. It is a lot less football specific, and more bench press and agility work. It’s a lot of combine work with football mixed in. There is some board work, meetings, they teach you how to talk to coaches, what questions they will ask and prepare you for interviews with the NFL organizations.”
While his versatility will certainly be a plus for any organization that selects him, McGovern is capable of playing center, guard and tackle, he figures he slots in as an interior lineman. Regardless, he is ready for the challenges that await him, and the process it will take to get there.
“Going into the season, I knew I was ready,” McGovern said. “I think positively I am ready for the next level. I believe I am ready for the next step, and now that challenge is in front of me.”
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