Since electing to leave college early, declaring for the NFL following Penn State’s bowl game, Connor McGovern did everything he possibly can to put himself in position to make a strong impression on NFL scouts.
He attended the NFL combine, he worked out at the EXOS training facility in Florida, and he participated in Penn State’s pro day, preparing to get the opportunity to be selected by an NFL team over the course of the next three days.
Now, all Connor McGovern can do is sit and wait.
His work is done so to speak, yet, it is just beginning. His versatility, size and strength is what is appealing to NFL scouts and front office personnel. He can play center, guard and tackle, which is a perfect combination for any offensive lineman heading to the next level.
“I am so excited for him, for a guy who had potential coming in, a lot of people thought highly of him,” said Penn State offensive line coach Matt Limegrover, who had the chance to see McGovern grow over the course of their years together at Penn State. “It is not easy to take that potential and turn it into tangible qualities. He has done an unbelievable job of having potential and working hard every day.”
McGovern graduated from Lake-Lehman in December of his senior year of high school with the intentions of enrolling early at Penn State to get a head start on his college career in the classroom and on the football field. At Penn State, he was plugged in at tackle, moved to center then to guard. But more importantly, his work ethic, football intelligence and overall skill level were enough to get him on the field as a true freshman.
“Learning his first year, he was put in some tough spots being a true freshman,” Limegrover said. “That probably helped mold him and speed up the maturity process. That experience helped him do what he did the last two years and accelerated the pace that set him up to leave a year early. All those things happened and he kept his head about it. His trajectory from the first day was upwards.”
While his primary position at Penn State was center for his first two seasons before switching to guard as a junior, it is his versatility that jumps out at the next level.
So much so that Limegrover did not have a definitive answer, but did offer his opinion, saying he believes McGovern is best suited to be a guard.
“That is a really good question,” Limegrover said. “I think guard is. I also know that he is willing and will do a really good job wherever they decide to put him. One thing he has positioned himself to be appealing is that teams know he is not just a one position player. Maybe he is not starting right away, but he will be one of the eight offensive linemen the team will carry.
“He can play all three and play them well,” Limegrover continued. “I think the fact he has a ton of versatility and is a smart kid, that is going to put more money in his pocket in the long run.”
Always a strong and physical player, McGovern checked in at 6-foot-5 3/8 and 308 pounds at the NFL combine. He did 28 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, and ranked in the top 10 in all drills he took part in.
“The biggest thing is that when he first came in he had some athletic ability and was a fairly strong kid,” Limegrover said. “As he continued to develop the strength and power, was he going to lose his change of direction? Was that going to suffer or continue to get strong enough to have the kind of power and strength to compete at the top level. He developed the strength and power and built on what he had. He didn’t lose the other stuff. He is a very different man than when he first came to Penn State. It was all for the better. Nothing had to suffer for his development.”