Lakeland senior lineman Connor O’Neill contacted me today to say he has committed to play football at Bryant University.
The 6-foot-3, 290-pound offensive and defensive lineman is one of the section’s top returning lineman. He missed the latter part of last season due to injury.
O’Neill said he was recruited as an offensive lineman.
UPDATED, 8/16, 1:23 p.m.: I just spoke to O’Neill, who said he picked Bryant because it was the first school to offer him a scholarship and it was his favorite. He had also liked Lafayette and Holy Cross (he attended camps at all three schools), as well as smaller-level schools like Hobart, Williams, Amherst and C.W. Post.
O’Neill, who will be in his third year as a two-way varsity starter, said he wanted to play at the Division I level.
“It was a big goal of mine,” he said. “The level of competition there is high. I know I can play at that level. It’s a good challenge.”
O’Neill will begin camp tomorrow in a great frame of mind. Not only has he made his college decision, he also is back after a truncated junior year. He played in the opener against Harrison, but was forced to miss the rest of the season. He suffered a severe concussion in a car accident a few days after the Harrison game and was not cleared to return to physical activity until December.
O’Neill was indeed cleared and has worked hard to regain and improve on his conditioning. “I feel great right now,” he said. “I was 100 percent cleared.”
Here’s a look at Connor’s recruiting profile, which includes highlights from the last two seasons.