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Andrew’s Michael McDonough hasn’t met Deion Sanders. Carefree. “He has next level written all over him.” – Twin Cities

During an unofficial visit this summer to Colorado, Andrew’s Michael McDonough didn’t get a chance to meet former NFL superstar Deion Sanders, who has been busy reviving the Buffaloes.

But he didn’t mind missing out on the man they call “Coach Prime.” McDonough ended up spending time with offensive line assistant Bill O’Boyle, and it suited him just fine.

“(Sanders) wasn’t there, but I had a great time with the O-line coach,” McDonough said. “He was a good guy. I love talking to the offensive line coaches.

“We always talk about technique and stuff like that.”

McDonough, a junior guard for the Thunderbolts, is making many friends with offensive line coaches across the country. The 6-foot-4, 290-pound McDonough has numerous offers, including notables from Colorado, Illinois, Purdue and Boston College.

He took unofficial visits to Wisconsin, Purdue, Illinois, Iowa State, Michigan and Notre Dame. This weekend he will travel to Cincinnati. He’s planning a trip back to Colorado on Nov. 11 to watch a game against Arizona, so maybe he can meet Sanders then.

With the goal of majoring in aerospace engineering or mechanical engineering, McDonough wants to make sure she chooses the right college. He has no desire to make a hasty decision to commit, even if it was tempting.

“It depends on how I feel,” McDonough said of when he might decide. “I’m taking this time now to analyze colleges. I loved every one of them. I’m just trying to feel where I fit best.

“I’ll wait a bit – just look at everything and think about the decision.”

For now, the task at hand is to help Andrew (3-4, 1-1) qualify for the playoffs and capture the SouthWest Suburban Red title.

The Thunderbolts (3-4, 1-1) will host Lincoln-Way Central (6-1, 1-1) Friday at 7:30 p.m. and close out the regular season with an away game against Lincoln-Way West (6-1, 3-0), so the road is tough.

On top of that, Andrew is coming off a 41-16 loss to Lockport. The Thunderbolts are looking to end a three-game losing streak.

“You learn what you can from film, but you can’t be emotionally attached to it because it’s not going to help you get better,” McDonough said of the loss to Lockport. “Our backs are against the wall and we just have to fight.

“I love it and I love being in this position. You have to take care of it.

Junior quarterback Drew Silvia likes the way McDonough goes after it during games.

“We pass the ball to his side most of the time,” Silvia said. “He makes the block every time. I love it. He opened holes for me.

Andrew’s coach Adam Lewandowski, who also coaches the Tinley Park Bulldogs, has watched McDonough since he played in sixth grade. Lewandowski knew then that the lineman was special.

“It was always about fine-tuning the relationship,” Lewandowski said. “It wasn’t just about being a giant among boys. It was more about being a great footballer among your peers, regardless of size.

McDonough said he’s been a lineman his entire career and wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Linemen don’t get a lot of respect and reward and glory, but I love it,” he said. “I like the physical side and the attitude. It’s just moving guys around and forcing them against their will. It’s awesome.

Lewandowski is happy to have McDonough around for at least a few more games this year and next season as well. But he also looks forward to seeing his future progress.

“He has next level written all over him,” Lewandowski said of McDonough. “We’re really excited for him. We can’t wait to see where it goes. He wins it all.

Jeff Vorva is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.

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