Windsor star offensive tackle Joey O’Connor weighing his options; Ohio State visit Jan. 13
December 28, 2011
The last six weeks have been nothing short of crazy for Windsor High School All-American offensive tackle Joey O’Connor.
The 6-foot-4, 290-pound senior decommitted from Penn State on Nov. 10 following the child sex-abuse scandal involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and the firing of head coach Joe Paterno. O’Connor then opened up his recruiting door and quickly found out that there was a lot of interest around the country in the four-star recruit.
During that time, O’Connor concentrated on playing a major role in the Wizards’ first football state championship since 1993. Four days after the state title win, O’Connor talked on the telephone with new Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer before leading the Wizards onto the gymnasium floor in front of a packed house in a pep rally.
“It’s been pretty hectic. I was able to put everything on the back burner for the rest of the season,” said O’Connor, who jumped from No. 238 to No. 87 (No. 15 at offensive tackle) in the nation’s top recruits by Rivals.com during that time. “Now, my primary focus is on recruiting, take it day by day, talk more to my parents and (Windsor) coach (Chris) Jones and just trying to figure out all the pros and cons about everything. I can’t wait to finally make a decision and have that feeling of relief again. I’m just kind of ready for it to be over.”
Meyer hasn’t stopped calling O’Connor since the initial Dec. 7 phone call.
“We’ve talked four or five times,” O’Connor said. “He’s just kind of staying in touch and he’s excited to get me out there.”
O’Connor will make an official visit to Ohio State on Jan. 13, one of four official visits he has left.
O’Connor said he can’t get star-struck when he talks to coaches as big as Meyer, a two-time national championship coach at Florida.
“You’ve just got to think that he’s just another guy and he puts his pants on the same way I do,” O’Connor said. “He’s recruiting me and I’m recruiting him at the same time.”
O’Connor has narrowed his choices down to Ohio State, Iowa, Boise State, TCU and Cal. Iowa offered O’Connor a scholarship about 10 days ago, and he’s also been offered scholarships from Boise State, TCU and Cal in addition to a host of other schools.
O’Connor said he hasn’t been offered a scholarship to Ohio State yet, but the Buckeyes are obviously on that path with the phone calls from Meyer and the official visit in January. O’Connor said he has no more interest in Penn State.
“I’m just trying to evaluate the five schools that I have narrowed down to,” O’Connor said.
O’Connor said he’ll probably take an official visit to Cal the week after the Ohio State visit, and may take one more visit after that.
O’Connor admitted that last week’s penalties of a one-year bowl ban and probation and the loss of scholarships imposed by the NCAA on the Ohio State football program is a concern.
“It concerns me a little bit, but I’m going to talk to coach Meyer before I do anything or say anything,” O’Connor said.
O’Connor said he’s excited to visit Columbus, Ohio, in January.
“It’s a great university and I’m excited to explore and see what they have to offer,” O’Connor said of Ohio State. “Depending on how everything goes, I’ll hopefully get out to those other schools and see what they have to offer and kind of weigh my options.”