McGlynn basking in media spotlight
The Fitch graduate got a lot of area publicity because of his role with the Pitt team.
By JOE SCALZO
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
PITTSBURGH -- Before this week, Pitt sophomore Mike McGlynn was a little-known, gigantically-built offensive tackle for the Panthers.
That McGlynn is gone.
Allow us to introduce you to Mike McGlynn, media superstar.
Over the past six days, he's been the darling of Youngstown-area newspapers and television stations because of his role with the Pitt team, becoming (and we don't say this lightly) the most famous former Austintown Fitch High left tackle of the past five years.
"It's been fun," McGlynn said following Pitt's 42-0 win over Youngstown State on Saturday. "I've gotten a lot of calls from people who have seen me on TV telling me I look good."
McGlynn isn't the only area player at Pitt, but he's the only one who played in Saturday's game. Sophomore safety Mike Phillips, a Warren Harding High graduate, broke his leg in last week's loss to Nebraska and will miss the rest of the season. Harding's Darrell Herron is redshirting this season.
That leaves McGlynn.
"I love it," he said of the attention. "From week to week, you don't always get a lot of attention [from the media]. It's been a real pleasure."
Friends, family on hand
About 20 of his friends and family made the trip down to Heinz Field to watch the game from the stands. He also recognized a few other faces on the field, particularly YSU defensive end Brandon Brown, a 2001 Ursuline High graduate who was matched up with McGlynn on several plays. McGlynn was a sophomore lineman for the Falcons in 2000 when Fitch handed the eventual state champion Irish their only loss of the season.
Of course, McGlynn wouldn't bring something like that up.
"We put a whooping on them," McGlynn said, smiling. "That was a great game. Brandon's a good player. I'm sure they'll get another win next week."
Pitt line opens holes
Pitt's offensive line surrendered just two sacks Saturday (by James Terry and Aaron Scales) and opened holes all day, helping the Panthers out-gain the Penguins 528-152.
"Our offensive line played pretty good," McGlynn said. "I was excited to play those guys and I was impressed with their defense. They played pretty well."
McGlynn hasn't had the smoothest football career, but he's got a bright future. After helping the Falcons to that upset in 2000, McGlynn was ineligible his junior year due to a scheduling mix-up then broke his leg midway through his senior year.
McGlynn committed to the Panthers before his senior season but it's unlikely the injury would have made much difference. When you're 6-foot-5, 300-plus pounds, you can often get recruited on potential. It's called winning the gene lottery.
YSU wanted McGlynn
"YSU showed a little interest, but they knew I was going to play Division I ball and it was either Ohio State or Pitt," McGlynn said. "But [YSU] told me if there were any problems, they'd take me. I have a lot of respect for their program."
After redshirting his freshman year, McGlynn showed his potential last season when he nailed down a permanent job at mid-season, starting the last eight games and playing in all 12. He's started all four games this season and, having faced Notre Dame and Nebraska, he knew the YSU game was a bigger deal for the Penguins than the Panthers. But he also knew YSU would be ready to play.
"I think they came in here with a chip on their shoulder wanting to show that they're a good team, too," McGlynn said. "I think this is going to help them get better."
While it may not have been quite as good for McGlynn's development as a player, the game did wonders for his image.
"It was a lot of fun," he said. "And I wish YSU the best of luck. I know they'll do well in the Gateway Conference."