Walsh Jesuit’s McShane blossoms into dominant lineman, headed to Indiana


Walsh Jesuit senior Patrick McShane is headed to Indiana University as a standout tackle

One can grow out of a pair of pants or shirt or shoes.

Patrick McShane grew out of basketball.

Actually, the 285-pound Walsh Jesuit senior could still perform well on the hardwood. But his future is in football.

One can grow out of a pair of pants or shirt or shoes.

Patrick McShane grew out of basketball.

Actually, the 285-pound Walsh Jesuit senior could still perform well on the hardwood. But his future is in football. And nowadays, opposing basketball players are just relieved they no longer must deal with the surprising agility of a kid that size.

McShane is simply too talented a two-way tackle to concentrate on hoops anymore. He found it difficult to make the transition from one sport to the other. And, anyway, with a full-ride football scholarship to the University of Indiana as an offensive lineman awaiting him, he simply yearns to maximize his potential on the gridiron.

“It was my dream to play college football since I was much younger,” McShane explains. “I never did get a chance to play organized football until my freshman year.”

Much to his dismay, McShane was forced to forego football spikes for basketball shoes in junior high because he exceeded the weight limit for participation.

He vehemently disagreed with the rule that prevented him nurturing his talent in a sport he loved. But there was nothing he could do. He enjoyed basketball, but certainly would have preferred football.

“I thought it was very unfair,” he admits. “They want smaller kids at that level because they don’t want anyone to get hurt, so I was forced to watch my friends play. I was about 6-foot-1 and 180-190 pounds at the time. I went to games and just wished that I was out there. I was really disappointed.

“There was a 160-pound weight limit and by the end of eighth grade I was up to about 200 pounds. Before that I was trying to lose about 30 pounds. It could have been done, but I wouldn’t have been able to play football like that.”

McShane has been taking it out on opposing linemen ever since. Despite the fact that he was woefully inexperienced, he earned some playing time as a freshman before gaining a starting spot his sophomore year. He laments the fact that he didn’t receive the opportunity to progress in junior high, but he seems to have made up for it since.

Warriors coach Gerry Rardin certainly thinks so.

“Patrick is a real quick kid and very athletic,” Rardin says. “He combines that with a lot of mental toughness and physical toughness, all of which make him a great offensive lineman. When he was a sophomore, it looked like he was going to develop the physical attributes, but the mental toughness is always up in the air with any kid. He showed by early in his junior year that he was going to be a Division I recruit.”

The seeds of McShane’s desire to play college football were planted at quite an early age. He would entice his father out to play toss the ball around the yard with him, then the two would retire to the living room to watch college football on TV. McShane’s eyes would light up as he watched the top players perform.

His desire to play football grew as he jealously watched friends gracing the gridiron in junior high. It has grown ever since, but it is not always visible to those with whom he only has rare contact.

“I have an inner-passion for football,” he says. “People who don’t know me can’t see how much I love the game.”

Rardin agrees.

“He’s quiet, but you can tell by the way he handles himself that he has that inner-intensity,” he says. “Off the field, there’s not a lot of goof-around to him. He’s a pretty serious kid.”

McShane averaged about 10 points and eight rebounds a game for the Walsh Jesuit basketball team as a sophomore before giving up the sport at the high school level to concentrate on football.

He must continue to make adjustments with the Hoosiers, who will move him from offensive tackle to guard or center. McShane is accustomed to position shifts – he moved from defensive end to defensive tackle this season.

Though McShane must give up on playing defense, which might irk others who would rather make tackles than simply block, he claims to prefer performing on the offensive side of the ball.

“On defense, you just pin your ears back and let loose,” he says. “On offense, you have to be smarter with the count and with your assignment. I enjoy playing offensive line more than I do defensive line. I like getting after it and hitting people like that.”

He also likes criminal justice, in which he plans on majoring in at Indiana.

McShane knows a little about injustice. He felt like the victim of one when he had to watch from the stands as his friends played football in junior high.

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