- Kim Berard
IMG Academy QB Michael O'Connor commits to Penn State
Following the conclusion of IMG Academy’s inaugural spring practice, QB Michael O’Connor has decided to make his college decision prior to starting his senior year. O’Connor plans to join the Penn State Nittany Lions in 2014.
“The recruiting process was a great learning experience for me, and in the end, I am confident in my decision to commit to Penn State,” remarked the 4-star O’Connor. “Coach O’Brien continues to recruit a standout collection of athletes and I am both honored and eager to become an immediate contributor in 2014. In the mean time, I’ve worked hard this spring and can’t wait to take the field for my senior year at IMG Academy.”
The 6-foot-5, 215-pound, Canadian-born O’Connor is currently ranked the No.8 pro-style quarterback in the class of 2014, according to Rivals. He has made himself well known in the U.S. over the last two years while participating in a battery of elite level camps like the Under Armour All-America Combine, Sound Mind Sound Body Camp, Rivals Underclassmen Challenge and, most recently, the Orlando NFTC, where he was named QB MVP.
“Michael possesses all the qualities you look for in an elite student-athlete – he’s the ultimate leader on and off the football field,” said Chris Weinke, O’Connor’s coach and the Director of Football at IMG Academy. “As with everything he does, he approached the recruiting process very seriously and has landed on an excellent option for his talents. I am excited about the opportunity to coach Michael during his senior year and continue to help him develop as he makes that transition to big time D-I football.”
A native of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, O’Connor began playing football at the age of seven. He started his high school football career with Ashbury College in Canada, where he threw 51 touchdowns to only seven interceptions in his sophomore season. Seeking a bigger challenge to develop his game, O’Connor opted to play in the U.S. at Baylor School (Chattanooga, Tenn.) for the 2012 season, helping lead the team to a 7-3 regular season record and a berth in the Tennessee D-II-AA playoffs. O’Connor enrolled at IMG Academy as a junior in 2013 to further develop his skills under Heisman-winning and former NFL QB, Chris Weinke.
Penn State went 8-4 last season and had the No. 30-ranked recruiting class in 2013, according to 247Sports. To-date, the program has reportedly received ten verbal commitments from the class of 2014, including three 4-stars.
Photos of Michael O'Connor: