football

Visits will help OConnor decide

Joey o
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - This week at the Under Armour All-America Game, four-star offensive tackle Joey O'Connor has had the task of slowing down defensive linemen such as Noah Spence and Leonard Williams. For the Windsor (Colo.) offensive lineman, that assignment has been an enjoyable experience.
"It is a lot of fun," O'Connor said. "But there is definitely an adjustment to the speed of the game against those quick defensive tackles and defensive ends, that is the hard part. It is a good game, and a good week to get used to college speed and what we will go against in college."
The 6-foot-4, 295-pound offensive tackle has yet to make a commitment, and it won't come during Thursday's game.
"Right now things are pretty much open," O'Connor said. "I have set up a visit to Ohio State on January 13th. I am also looking to take a visit to Cal and maybe Iowa. Those are kind of my top three schools right now. TCU and Boise State are a couple of other schools I am still looking at."
So far the Rivals100 prospect has traveled to just one college campus making a game back in September.
"The only official I have taken was to Penn State, earlier this year," O'Connor said. "As of right now they are out of the picture because I don't know who their coach is and all of that stuff."
As for the possibility of the Nittany Lions making a move back into his list of favorites after they make a hire, that is a possibility.
"I will definitely answer the phone if they call me and we will see what happens," O'Connor said. "We will see what they have to say and go from there."
For right now though, O'Connor's focus is on his top three. The first of that group to receive an official visit will be Ohio State. Since the Buckeyes hired Urban Meyer, O'Connor has been in regular contact with the new head coach.
"Coach Meyer is actually the one recruiting me for Ohio State," O'Connor said. "He said he is just excited to get me out there. When we talk, it is more just regular conversation and not all about football. When we do talk football, he just tells me he wants to do a great thing with that program and win a National Championship. I have no doubt in the back of my mind that is what he is going to do. So I am pretty excited to get out there and visit with him."
The California Golden Bears are also an appealing option to O'Connor.
"I really like Coach (Jim) Michalczik, he is a great offensive line coach," O'Connor said. "Him and I have built a really good relationship. I want to get out there and check out the facilities, the area, and to see if that is the kind of cultural fit for me."
Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa Hawkeyes are also an attractive option to O'Connor.
"I like the Big Ten and I like the tradition of Iowa," O'Connor said. "They are an offensive line university. They are a great school. I really like Coach (Reese) Morgan."
O'Connor says that he will not rush a decision and take all of the time, and visits, necessary to find the right school for him.
"It is just about making the right decision," O'Connor said. "I will probably make that decision on Signing Day."
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