Mike McGlinchey didn’t spend much time playing his future position as a senior at Penn Charter High School (Philadelphia) this fall, but the 2013 Notre Dame offensive line commit still feels like he learned plenty this year.
“I didn’t really play offensive tackle much this whole season,” McGlinchey said. “I played almost every position on the field. I started the first five games at tackle in the non-league. When we got into the league schedule and it started being competitive is when they started moving me and giving me the ball. I played tight end, tackle, center, fullback, tailback for a couple plays and receiver.”
The 6-foot-9, 280-pounder caught a couple fades at tight end and was actually handed the ball a couple of times on the goal line to dive over the line for touchdowns.
“It’s just a matter of not letting anybody stop you,” McGlinchey said. “It’s just a pride thing at that point, so I wasn’t going to let anybody stop me.”
McGlinchey has always been labeled as an athletic offensive tackle prospect and that was definitely on display this season.
“It makes me understand what I’m doing off the field, working out and running, I’m doing something right because Coach is able to trust me enough in so many different places,” McGlinchey said. “If I’m able to be effective at those positions, I think it says something about my athletic ability and my want to help the team.”
He still believes plenty of it will translate to Notre Dame, where he’ll play offensive tackle.
“I think that I learned a lot about the game,” said McGlinchey. “One of my improvements is my knowledge of the game definitely because I’ve seen it from so many different angles now. A lot of it was different blocking schemes for me. I was blocking at fullback, blocking at tight end, blocking on the inside of the line.
“It was definitely useful for me to play fullback and tight end because I got to be able to block in space. I was breaking down, having good feet; I had to stay low and stuff like that. As a tackle, I thought I improved my footwork and knowledge. By no means am I anywhere near where I need to be, but I think I did a pretty good job this year.”
Penn Charter ended the season 5-4, finishing with a winning record after a season-ending victory over Germantown Academy.
“It’s OK,” said McGlinchey. “We were a game above .500. We took three straight losses in the league. It’s a little disappointing to go out like that, but we fought back in some games. Hopefully they can figure it out for next year.”
It’s difficult for McGlinchey knowing his high school career is over.
“It was definitely somber in a way because it’s tough knowing that you’re never going to be able to play for your school and you’re moving on and things are changing,” he said. “It’s kind of tough to deal with all of that in one sitting. At the same time, I think I’d be a little more upset if I didn’t know that I had at least five more years ahead of me of great football. It would hurt a lot more if it was my last football game ever, but it’s definitely hard to understand that you’re never going to be playing with the guys you’ve grown to love over the last four years.”
McGlinchey committed to Notre Dame back in March at the Irish’s Junior Day and then returned a month later for the Blue-Gold Game. He’ll be back on campus for the first time since for the team banquet next month.
“I’m definitely looking forward to hanging out with the guys in our class,” said McGlinchey. “It’s going to be a lot of fun getting to know the guys that you’re going to be playing with for the next four or five years. I’m excited to see Coach again and all of the other coaches on the staff. That’s going to be awesome. I’m just really excited about what’s going on and I’m excited to be a part of it and get started.”
The fact that his future team is now the top-ranked team in the country hasn’t really sunk in yet for McGlinchey.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “It’s kind of surreal in a way. I think we all knew what they were doing and what they’re doing now is unbelievable. I had no idea that this year was going to turn out the way it did for us.
“I’m extremely proud of it and not too many guys can say they’re committed to the number one team in the country. That’s something to be proud of obviously. As we keep working, we’ve just got to make sure that we’re that highly-ranked, highly-rated and highly-respected throughout our college careers as well.”