Another recruit has sent in his letter of intent to the University of Washington, this time Connor O’Brien of Santa Margarita Catholic High School in Rancho Santa Margarita, California. A good example of a kid that committed early and then never really wavered, O’Brien gave his verbal on the 30th of April, 2012, and despite offers from most of the Pac-12, including Oregon, I never heard anything about him entertaining the possibility of other programs.
A consensus three-star recruit listed at 6’4” and 205 pound, he is listed as either a safety or an outside linebacker depending on the source. If Coach Sarkisian does intend to play him as an outside linebacker, he will clearly want to gain significant weight, as 205 is pretty small for that position by almost any standards. Given that, and the great depth at safety and linebacker, I would expect O’Brien to redshirt his freshman year while working to gain muscle.
In the years after that, however, I would think that his versatility and his hard-hitting style will allow him to factor in at linebacker, where Washington has often favored quicker, smaller players such as Travis Feeney, who found success this past year as a redshirt freshman despite a very similar build to O’Brien at 6’4” 210 pounds.
Note: Though he was listed at 205 by the recruiting services, UW has listed him officially at 230 now, meaning he has gained a lot of weight. So with that in mind, he really doesn’t need to gain much weight at all. 230 is heavier than most of the linebackers on Washington’s current roster.