S. Fla. Standout Sets Up AU Official Visit

A talented 2009 signee class prospect talks official visits, camps and favorites with Inside the Auburn Tigers.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.—St. Thomas Aquinas linebacker Conor O'Neill, who has seven offers from five different conferences, planned his first official visit on Thursday.

"I just set it up with Coach (Eddie) Gran and my first official is going to be to Auburn from Sept. 19 to the 21st when they play LSU," O'Neill says. "That'll definitely be an eye-opener."

O'Neill camped at Auburn in mid-June and says he liked what he saw. "That was my first time in Auburn," he explains. "The town was amazing. I loved it. I loved how everything is really close by. They had nice little shopping centers a little past the main part of the campus. Wes Byrum told me that during the season it gets crazy. That definitely got me excited."

Auburn is one of the colleges at the top for O'Neill's signature along with Clemson and Wisconsin.

"Right now those are the top three, but I also like Rutgers, Purdue and Syracuse," he notes. "Miami of Ohio is the seventh one."

The Auburn camp was O'Neill's first this summer and he isn't sure if he'll get to any others. "I might try to swing up to Clemson if they have another one or Wisconsin maybe," he says. "I haven't been to either of those campuses. I'm going to try, but I don't know if I'll be able to. I definitely want to be able to see their campuses also."

St. Thomas Aquinas teammates Dwayne Difton, a receiver, Dezmen Southward, a safety, and a couple of underclassmen and other prospects from the Fort Lauderdale area joined O'Neill on the trip to Auburn. O'Neill wasn't able to tour the facilities, but he got to hang out with Byrum, a former teammate.

He also got to work with AU linebackers coach James Willis.

"Coach Willis worked with me the whole time," O'Neill says. "I really enjoyed working with him. He's a great coach and he definitely helped me out a lot.

"The coaches said that I'm pretty high on their list and they want to keep the St. Thomas tradition going," he adds. "They think that I'd be a good fit here at Auburn, so that's always good."

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