When Cuyahoga Falls (Ohio) offensive lineman Pat McShane told his high school coach he was headed to IU, there were two emotions that were evident.
Excitement and relief.
The 6-5, 280-pound McShane was excited about the opportunity to play in the Big Ten for a school that had emerged as a frontrunner ever since they were one of the first to start showing interest several months ago. But after making his decision known Monday, there was also a sense of relief that McShane knew what the future had in store.
“He seemed very sure of himself, very pleased with the decision, and very confident in the decision,” said Walsh Jesuit H.S. Coach Jerry Reardon. “He also said it felt very good to have it done.”
McShane had impressed IU’s coaching staff with his junior film, but like most other offensive line prospects he still had to show off his skills in person at one of the Hoosiers’ one-day camps. His performance in front of the IU staff last month is what ultimately resulted in the scholarship offer.
Indiana was one of at least five senior camp stops for McShane, who projects as either a center or guard in college. He also participated in camps at Ohio State, Purdue, Illinois and West Virginia, and indications were that both Purdue and Illinois were giving serious consideration to offering before McShane committed to IU. While he performed well at the camps, it was still a nerve-racking experience according to Reardon.
“It’s a very hard experience on kids,” Reardon said. “There are those elite few who get offers before those (camps), but with the majority of linemen, all the Big Ten-level schools are slower to offer them. They want to see them in person, and kids can only go to so many of the camps. It’s a tough grind, but he made it through.”
Indiana, meanwhile, has added its first offensive lineman in the 2009 class. McShane is a rangy, athletic lineman who is expected to play on the interior of the offensive line after playing tackle in high school. A member of his high school basketball team as well, McShane fits the mold of lineman that Hoosier offensive line coach Bobby Johnson has targeted in recent years.
“He’s a really athletic kid who moves really well,” Reardon said. “On top of that, when he plays football he plays it with a passion.”
Indiana was able to see some of those traits on McShane’s junior film, but it was his one-day camp appearance that sold the staff for good.
“When they saw the type of work ethic he has and the type of quality kid that he is, that sealed the deal,” Reardon said.
McShane was excited to get the offer from IU because there had been a lot that he liked about the Hoosier program ever since the staff started showing interest in him back in the early spring. While it took a trip to Bloomington to earn the offer, Reardon said IU had been high on McShane’s list for some time.
“I think he was always kind of leaning there,” Reardon said. “Indiana showed strong interest early, and that impacted him. They still wanted to see him work out in person, but they were really positive about everything with him. When the offer came through, he said he loved the coaches that he’s worked with and he likes the atmosphere. It seems like a great fit.”
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