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Penn State Football: Like The Rest Of The Line, Connor McGovern Playing With Confidence

by on September 06, 2017 9:30 PM

Coaches often say that the farther away from the ball you get, the sooner in your career you can play. So it's no small feat that Connor McGovern finds himself at center just two years into his collegiate career.

"I remember getting thrown in there," McGovern said on Wednesday. "Everything was just speeding around, felt like it was going 100 miles an hour. The following week the game felt like it slowed down for me, and I was able to participate a lot more and feel more comfortable out on the field."

And things have slowed down across the board for Penn State's offensive line. After years of ups and down, the Nittany Lions are turning a once weakness into a strength. While Akron didn't pose the biggest threat this past Saturday, Penn State didn't give up a single sack during the game behind a much improved and much more confident front.

"We're a lot more comfortable than last year," McGovern said. "Last year we were still moving guys around and had a lot more guys subbing in. Now we're a lot more confident with the starting five, and we still want to be more aggressive and be leaders out there."

"Last year I was more hesitant and nervous leading up to the games. Now I feel a lot more comfortable and ready to play on weekends. Watching film has come a lot easier to me. Last year I wasn't really sure how to watch it. I had to learn from coaches how basically to watch film properly. This year it's a lot easier."

The good news for Penn State fans, McGovern isn't going anywhere in the foreseeable future. And neither are his fellow linemen, largely a group of young players ready to leave their mark over the next several seasons.

“He played at a pretty high level as a true freshman for us last year, has gotten bigger, has gotten stronger, has gotten leaner and is really doing a good job being verbal,” Penn State Coach James Franklin said. “That was an area I was a little bit concerned about (with) him —he’s not the most vocal guy. So it was making sure that he was going to take control in there, make the calls with confidence."

If week one was any indication, McGovern and company are playing with plenty of confidence, something that will only increase as the weeks go on by.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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