Conor O'Neill is one of the top linebacker prospects in South Florida this year and the St. Thomas…
Tigers in Good Shape for Fla LB
6-1, 200 pound linebacker prospect Conor O'Neill has been focusing on his senior season instead of taking summer visits.
"I went to Friday Night Lights at Florida and had a good time," he told CUTigers.com in a recent interview. "That is the last visit I went to. For most of the past month I have been working out with my team. We are getting ready for our season opener in Ohio."
When asked about his current favorites in the recruiting process, O'Neill responded, "I really have three schools ahead of the others. Clemson, Wisconsin and Auburn are my top three schools right now."
What does he like about each school?
CLEMSON: "They are known for having two sport athletes. I play baseball and would like to play both sports in college. Clemson has a great tradition of two sport athletes. I know Kyle Parker was the ACC freshman of the year in baseball and he is playing football as well. That is inspiring. They are a good southern school. They run the same kind of defense that we run. I love their style of defense."
WISCONSIN: "They have a great tradition playing in Big 10. They have great team. Their defense flies around. They are trying to get faster kids now. They think they can step it up and become and elite team every year. They play Ohio State and Michigan so that give them an opportunity to be ranked high. I have a great relationship with their coaches and they lose their two outside linebackers this year."
AUBURN: "We have had a great tradition at my school of sending players to Auburn. In the past two years we have sent four players there. My defensive back coach went to Auburn. They are in the SEC so you can't go wrong with the speed and the competition week in and week out. They are always one of the top programs in the nation."
The commitment timing has changed a little for the Florida standout.
"I have been up and down," he said. "At first I wanted to wait until after the season. Now I am hoping that I can do it before the playoffs start. I don't want to rush anything. I want to make sure it is the right school. I am not positive when it will be."
What will be important when the two-sport star picks his college destination?
"I definitely want to play both sports," O'Neill said. "That is the most important thing. I want to play football and baseball. If a school lets me do that it definitely opens my eyes. Wisconsin doesn't have a baseball team, but I still see them equal with the other two. I know it will be difficult, but it is something I want to try to do."
Both Auburn and Clemson has already told O'Neill he could pursue both sports should he sign with either school.
Clemson assistant coach David Blackwell, O'Neill's main recruiter to Tigertown, has built a good relationship with the rising senior.
"He is a great guy. I love talking to him. I actually talked to him a couple of weeks ago when he was going to Myrtle Beach for vacation. I will call him again in the next day or two. He has been talking to me about getting me up for a game or two. I liked the conversation we had when he came down this spring. I really like the conversation he had with me and my father," said O'Neill.
O'Neill was the team's second leading tackler with 67 stops, including 16 for loss as a junior. He also had seven sacks and three caused fumbles.
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