Through six games, the three-star tight end has 16 receptions for 290 yards four touchdowns. That is down from last season, when he caught 45 passes for 884 yards and 14 touchdowns.
“It’s been all right,” O’Grady said. “Last season was a little bit better, but this season I feel like we’re more confident in our ability to win. Because of that, I think we’ll be able to make it far.”
The Bulldogs are 5-1 overall and 2-1 in conference play, with their only loss coming at the hands of Fort Smith Northside, which is led by Arkansas commit Daytrieon Dean.
Their latest victory was a 49-21 win over Springdale Friday in the 115th “Battle of the Bulldogs." During the game, he caught three passes for 71 yards, earning him Fayetteville Autopark Player of the Week honors. The award was presented to him at the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club meeting Wednesday.
O’Grady’s biggest honor, however, came following the Springdale game, which was part of the Marine Corps’ “Great American Rivalry Series.”
Although the tight end found out last month, as he tweeted below, he was officially invited to play in the Semper Fi All-American Bowl after his team was presented a trophy.
Just officially got invited to the Semper Fi All-American bowl!! Can't stress enough how blessed I am. ????— CJ O'Grady (@OhMyGrady15) September 4, 2014
“A game like that is huge,” O’Grady said. “Very few people get to do that. There’s a lot of athletes out there, but very few get to get to go to a big game like that.”
One factor in O’Grady’s lower numbers is the fact that Fayetteville is breaking in a sophomore quarterback. Taylor Powell is a talented, but inexperienced quarterback that broke Austin and Brandon Allen’s Woodland Junior High records.
While O’Grady acknowledges that Powell has the “pre-game jitters” you’d expect from a sophomore, he said that is not why his numbers have dropped.
Instead of being a safety blanket the quarterback forces passes to, O’Grady is just another option on pass plays.
“Last year, that’s kind of what happened,” O’Grady said. “This year, the quarterback is focusing more on the reads and not falling back on me. It’s a little bit different.”