The Commodores have a built-in advantage over their SEC rivals. O'Connor has often said academics will play a key role in his recruitment, and Vandy can certainly offer that.
"I think it's the best academics in the SEC," the sophomore from Chattanooga (Tenn.) Baylor said.
O'Connor received his scholarship offer from Vanderbilt last summer. He also has scholarship offers from six other schools, most notably Michigan State and Mississippi State. Vanderbilt, however, has already made a strong connection via head coach James Franklin.
"Coach Franklin really likes me, so that's good," O'Connor said.
When asked further about Franklin, O'Connor said, "It's amazing what Coach Franklin has done for the program. They're on the upswing, but it'll be curious to see if Coach Franklin stays."
Franklin has led Vanderbilt to a 6-4 record. They are 4-3 in the SEC. This is the second consecutive season the Commodores have been bowl eligible. Several top prospects are expected to be in attendance this weekend for Vandy's game against Tennessee.
O'Connor has also shown strong interest in Alabama. However, the Crimson Tide have yet to offer a scholarship to the 6-foot-5, 205-pound prospect. Coaches there have told him they need to evaluate him this spring before offering. O'Connor has said he'd like to commit to a school by this summer.