Friday, January 4, 2013
2014 QB O'Connor transfers to IMG
By Derek Tyson
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Class of 2014 prospect Michael O'Connor was one of the top quarterbacks on hand at the Under Armour National Combine on Friday.
The 6-foot-5, 205-pound signal-caller, who was born and raised in Canada, is starting to receive college interest from several programs.
As a sophomore at Ashbury College in Ontario, Canada, O'Connor threw for 51 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. Impressive numbers, considering he was playing 12-on-12 football. Last season, O'Connor moved to Chattanooga, Tenn., where he played at Baylor high school. After one season at Baylor, O'Connor and his family decided to move to Bradenton, Fla., where will he will play at IMG Academy, an upstart football program.
O'Connor feels he has adjusted well to playing football in the United States.
"I did pretty well for my first year down here playing the American game," he said. "There were some ups and downs, but by the end of the season I think I caught on to the American game pretty well."
His success has paid off so far. O'Connor has garnered offers from the likes of Mississippi State, Michigan State, Vanderbilt, Buffalo, Toledo and Akron and he is hearing from some other big-time programs.
"I've been to three Alabama games, two Auburn games and one LSU game, so those schools have shown a lot of interest," O'Connor said. "So has UCLA, Stanford, Georgia and Florida."
O'Connor said one of those programs has piqued his interest.
"I'd like to hear more from Stanford," O'Conner said. "Just their combination of academics and athletics and I think I'd really fit well in their offensive system. Definitely that's the one school I'd like to hear from."
As for his future plans, O'Connor said he just wants to continue working with IMG Director of Football Chris Weinke.
"I'm not really worried about visiting schools right now," he said. "I'm going to be down at IMG working with Chris Weinke. It's a lot of fun working with him -- I'm learning every day. I can see myself getting better each and every day I work with him."
Weinke has been impressed with what he's seen from O'Connor.
“Michael is a great young man who possesses all the qualities we are looking for in our student-athletes that we want leading our team in its first season,” said Weinke in an IMG press release. “I believe he has the ability and makeup to be one of the premier high school quarterbacks in the country.”
O'Connor said he would like to make a decision before his senior season begins.