Well before Mike McGlinchey was named a 2012 Semper Fidelis All-American, and right as the recruiting process got underway for the Philadelphia (Pa.) Penn Charter standout offensive tackle, older cousin Matt Ryan, a Boston College alum and current Atlanta Falcons quarterback told him one thing.
McGlinchey is one of several Notre Dame commits headed to the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.
“Matt used to always joke before making the decision, I’ll support you anywhere but Notre Dame,” McGlinchey laughed. He committed to the Irish back on March 25.
“But he was certainly happy and obviously just kidding and he knows Notre Dame was a special place just like Boston College was for him.”
The 6-foot-9, 275-pound McGlinchey also knows it’s special to conclude his prep football career as a Semper Fidelis All-American.
The second annual game will be held at 9 p.m. (EST) Jan. 4 at the Home Depot Center near Los Angeles and will be televised nationally on the NFL Network. Last year’s game featured several players already making a big impact on college football this season, including Georgia running back Todd Gurley and Oklahoma State quarterback Wes Lunt.
“I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity and I’m very happy about it, and I’m very excited and it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s a real exciting opportunity to be called an All-American and it’s everything you work for and dream for and it’s definitely a big thing for me.
“I’ve never really traveled much past the East Coast except when I went to Notre Dame, so the travel part will be new to me, so that will be a lot of fun. And obviously playing football with and against the best players in the country is something you look forward to when playing in these types of game.”
McGlinchey is ranked by 247Sports as the nation’s No. 19 offensive tackle, and he's the No. 240 prospect overall in the 247Composite. He said he committed to Notre Dame over the likes of Penn State, Duke and Ryan’s Boston College. His uncle John Loughery also played quarterback for the Eagles.
McGlinchey gave his pledge to Notre Dame shortly after visiting the campus for a junior day. He had left South Bend and was actually headed to Wisconsin for a look when he decided to turn around and pull the trigger.
“I knew Notre Dame felt right when I decided,” McGlinchey said.
“I think more than anything I think it was the total package. Notre Dame was a special place. The coaching staff is great. The football program is one of the most historic in all of America. The school is one of the top academic institutions in America. And the kids and people there are awesome as well and I’m excited to be part of it.”
“I think Will Fuller from Philly is also going so that will be cool to have him and a bunch of other Notre Dame guys come with us. It will be a great time learning how to play together.”
McGlinchey and his team are currently 3-1 on the season.
“I think we’re playing great,” he said. “That one loss was a big step back for us and we should have won that game. We came out and flat and it showed. Other than that we’ve played well. It’s our bye week this week and we’re looking real good and hoping to put the pieces together and win the league.”
Over Falcons bye weeks in the past, Ryan has made a couple of McGlinchey’s games, and the younger cousin figures he’ll see him at some point in South Bend.
“I don’t think he’ll be wearing Notre Dame gear but he’ll be cheering for me definitely.”