March 10, 2011

O'Connor gets two early offers

The first scholarship offer for Windsor (Col.) offensive tackle, Joey O'Connor, came as something of a shock, but turned out to be one of two this month for the 6-foot-4, 278-pounder.

O'Connor said he was told he had a scholarship waiting for him at Colorado State during Junior Day last month in Fort Collins.

"Junior Day went real good," O'Connor said. "We got there and there were about 50 recruits there and got to watch their whole presentation, their academic, their football program. Then, they took me to Coach Steve Fairchild's office and he told me they were ready to make an offer, but they can't yet because of NCAA rules. He told me, I had one waiting for me if I chose to go there.

"I was overwhelmed and excited at the same time," O'Connor continued. "I didn't know what to think at first and had to let it soak in. Then, a couple days later, it soaks in. Mom and dad were overwhelmed and pretty excited also."

O'Connor paved the way for Windsor to go 8-2 and score a trip to the state quarterfinals a year ago, collecting All-Conference and All-State honors along the way. O'Connor reports bench press and squat numbers of 345 and 525 pounds respectively and a 40-yard dash time of 5.1 seconds. The future Criminal Justice Major holds a 3.0 grade-point average in the classroom.

While a spot on the Rams' squad would allow him a place to play close to home, O'Connor said he grew up not watching much college football and doesn't really have a favorite team or school. Penn State is hoping he isn't afraid to get too far from home either, as they made the effort to contact him with a spot on their team as well.

"I've been emailing them for a while now and they called my football coach at high school and said they were real interested," O'Connor said. "They liked my highlight film and wanted to talk to me. I called the offensive line coach, and we got to talk about how they don't recruit 500 miles off their campus, but they said they really liked me. I was their guy and I have an offer waiting for me and they would like to see me come out for their invite-only camp."

The Penn State camp would be one of four camps O'Connor is thinking of attending this summer, along with Colorado State, Nebraska and Kansas State. While the attention has been somewhat unexpected, O'Connor said he has been enjoying the process.

"Honestly, I had no idea college were even going to be looking at me," he said. "I was thinking Division II, but then Division I schools are calling me. But now, I am here and I am ready for the ride. I am pretty excited about it."

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