Paul O'Hara Discusses The Future

Despite limping through the early part of the season with a pulled hamstring, Dixie County running back/linebacker Paul O'Hara was named first team All-State. However, it wasn't as a running back, linebacker, or athlete. It was as a defensive back.

O'Hara seemingly doesn't know that 6-0, 215-point guards are a bit out of the norm as well. For those that haven't seen O'Hara, he is quite muscular. I joked with him about being out of character on the hardwood and what some of those 160 pound opposing point guards must be thinking.

"I can play against those guys," O'Hara said laughing. "Really, I get some looks from the (thin) guys, but I don't have a problem. I still have my quickness and ball handling ability".

Getting his hamstring back in shape is not as simple as blowing by an opposing point guard for the easy lay-up. I saw O'Hara play the third week of September on the road against a tough Union County team. He was hobbling around quite a bit. The Bears coaching staff played him sparingly at linebacker. The Tigers were keying on him, and the injury made it difficult to cut or get outside. The Bears coaching staff was more successful using him as a decoy.

"Yeah, that was tough," O'Hara painfully recalled. "I had a tough year with the injury. I pulled my hamstring and sat out the first game. I tried to go, but it was aggravated and ended up sitting out another game. So, I missed two games this season."

The Bears basketball team will miss their leading scorer over the next two weeks as recruiting visits take center stage.

"I visit Marshall this weekend. I leave tomorrow morning at 8:30 for Jacksonville," he said. "I'll fly into Atlanta, and on to West Virginia. I'm scheduled to return Sunday evening.

"I visit ECU (East Carolina) during the week and Florida on the 28th. I'll go to Bethune before signing day. I'm not exactly sure when I'll make a decision, probably a couple of days before signing day".

Paul O'Hara has had the Gators on his radar for many years. He grew up a Florida fan, and attended every home game this past football season.

"Coach (Chuck) Heater came by a couple of weeks ago," he recalled. "He was at the school and came by the house. He ate dinner with us. We had spaghetti. I really like him a lot. He's a great guy."

"He (Coach Heater) said to keep my head up. He told me that Coach (Charlie) Strong really likes me, too. The old staff had offered me a scholarship. But, I didn't know what would happen when the new coaches came in. Coach Heater said that I still have a scholarship but he said that they're trying to figure out if they like me more at strong safety or linebacker. He said one of the offensive coaches wouldn't mind seeing me at running back, but it sounds like I'll be playing defense if I go to Florida."

"My first love is at running back, but I would love to play for the Gators even if it was at linebacker. I'm just trying to be patient and make the right decision."


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