January 24, 2013

Spartans stop in to see O'Connor

One of the top quarterback prospects for the class of 2014 is Michael O'Connor of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. The last 12 months have been a whirlwind for the 6-foot-5, 205-pound signal-caller. One constant through everything has been Michigan State's high level; of interest in him. SpartanMag.com caught up with O'Connor and got the latest.

A year ago O'Connor was somewhat of an unknown commodity from Canada. He burst onto the scene after several strong camps and combines performances, including one at Michigan State. Shortly afterwards O'Connor stated picking up scholarship offers and Michigan State made him the first quarterback they offered for the class of 2015.

O'Connor moved to the United State and enrolled in the Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tenn. He had a strong season and enjoyed his time there, but decided to move to IMG Academy to further his development as a passer.

While at IMG O'Connor decided to reclassify from a class of 2015 prospect to the class of 2014. We asked him about the decision to do that and the impact on his recruitment.

"It has been good, I love it down here," O'Connor said. "The transition has been going very smooth. All of schools that have already offered said they still want me regardless of what class I am in. Michigan State is still showing great interest in me and Coach Warner was down here to see me on Tuesday."

As it stands right now, O'Connor holds scholarships from Michigan State, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Toledo, Akron and Buffalo. Essentially every school that has been able to scout him in person has decided to offer.

IMG Academy is school that focuses on athletics and academic training. In the past it has been famous for producing top tennis players such as Andre Agassi, Maria Sharapova, Monica Seles and Ann Kournakova. This year they will field their inaugural football team. The IMG football program is led by former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback Chris Weinke.

The Spartans had O'Connor on campus last summer and they certainly would like to have him visit again this winter or spring. SpartanMag.com asked him if they have invited him back up to East Lansing and if some other schools have gotten involved in his recruitment.

"Yes, the Michigan state coaches want to get me back on campus sometime soon," he said. "I am not sure when I am going to be able to do that because it is a long way from Florida. Right now I am not planning on visiting any other schools, but several schools such as Ohio State, South Carolina and Alabama have said they are coming down to see me at IMG. "

O'Connor is being very through in his recruitment. He is weighing lots of facto when it comes to a decision. He wants to make sure the school he attends will allow him develop his skills as a pro-style passer and eventually reach his ultimate goal of playing in the NFL. He also understands the value of making an early commitment.

"I plan on making my decision in the next couple of months."

SpartanMag.com will be sure to keep in contact with O'Connor in the coming months. Not only do we expect his stock to continue to rise, but we expect Michigan State to be in the running for his services. O'Connor is very familiar with the Big Ten and the history of quarterback development in the conference and specifically Michigan State. He told us back in the fall, "Michigan State is my top school and regardless they will always be among my top 5." Despite the changes in school, class as well as several new suitors getting involves, there is still a high-level of interest between the Spartans and O'Connor.

Matt Dorsey's Take:

I have been very high on O'Connor since seeing him at the Sound Mind-Sound Body Camp last summer. I firmly believed he would eventually challenge David Sills for the top quarterback spot in the nation for 2015. The fact that the same schools are still after him despite moving up a year shows just how talented he is. O'Connor has developed a good rapport with Coach Dave Warner. I fully expect the staff to work hard to get him back on campus, especially for the Green and White game on April 20th.

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