February 11, 2011

McGowan taking things in stride

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College coaches looking for offensive and defensive linemen the last few years have definitely made Centerville (Ohio) high school a regular stopping point on the recruiting trail. The Elks sent two defensive linemen to BCS-level programs this month in Michael Bennett (Ohio State) and Kyle Rose (West Virginia) and the 2012 and 2013 classes boast linemen that will be following in their footsteps. In the 2012 class, offensive guard Benny McGowan is getting some serious attention from programs around the Midwest.

"I've been talking to Northwestern, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, and Bowling Green the most," McGowan said.

Ohio State is another school showing interest as the Buckeyes have been sending mail to McGowan and McGowan was able to make the trip East to Columbus during the fall for a game.

"I went up to the Miami (FL) game," McGowan explained. "It was good. I really liked the atmosphere at the stadium."

McGowan also took in a game up at Michigan and enjoyed his time in Ann Arbor.

"It was a good experience as well," McGowan said. "It was the game where they set the record for the most fans so that was pretty cool."

McGowan recently picked up his first offer, from Bowling Green, and getting that first offer out of the way was a big weight off his shoulders.

"It was pretty cool just getting that first offer," he said. "It's definitely been my goal to play in college."

Another big relief to McGowan was simply getting back on the football field this fall. The big road grater missed his entire sophomore season due to injury after playing for the Elks as a freshman.

"I hated sitting on the bench and not being able to go out there and play with my friends," McGowan said. "Now that I can play it's been great and I just love getting out there."

McGowan helped to anchor one of the premier offensive lines in the state of Ohio this past fall along with Bennett and super sophomore Evan Lisle. Being able to work day in and day out with other big time talents has been extremely beneficial, according to McGowan.

"I really enjoy competing with them," McGowan said. "Whether it was just a practice drill or a game we would always have a competition with each other just to see who could get the most knockdowns. It definitely makes it more fun. With Lisle, he's a young kid that's coming up and started to get the hang of things and be a great player."

The Elks defensive line was equally loaded with Bennett, Rose, and outstanding junior Ifeadi Odenigbo, though McGowan didn't exactly have to deal with them too much in practice.

"We went up against each other a little bit in the summer but honestly our coach didn't want us hurting each other so he kind of stopped putting us up against each other," McGowan joked.

For now, McGowan doesn't have too much planned in terms of visits and camps but he will be attending a Notre Dame junior day on February 26th.


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