Danny O'Brien is already a highly-rated defensive tackle, and one that has several offers from some pretty reputable programs. O'Brien competed this past weekend at the Nike Camp in Columbus. Though it was Ondre Pipkins coming away with MVP honors on the defensive line, he felt overall the defensive line was right up there as one of the most competitive groups at the Nike Camp.
"I didn't see any other positions that had as much talent as the defensive line," O'Brien said. "That MVP could have went to anybody, but (Pipkins) is a great player. He did a heck of a job. He tore up everybody he went against. I only tripped up on one guy, but I still think I beat (the offensive lineman) pretty good.
"I think I did a good job against every offensive lineman, but the talent pool was unbelievable. It was better than last year, and better than any camp I ever went to."
It wasn't so much an eye-opening experience for him, as much as it was a glimpse of what it's going to be like playing at the next level.
"It shows how much harder you have to work in this offseason, how every play in the season matters, to get to that final list as an All-American," O'Brien said. "There's so many good players out here. Almost everybody you ask has (Division I) offers; almost every single kid."
O'Brien finished his junior season with 90 tackles and nine sacks, en route to all-conference honors, and even some All-America honors from a couple of different outlets. With such an accomplished high school career, O'Brien still felt there were things he was able to learn and apply to his game, going forward.
"Some of the hand stuff they had us doing was really good," O'Brien said. "It wasn't just the hand movements, it was bringing the feet and hips with it. The way that coach taught us, I think I'm definitely going to take that back to my defensive line and show them a couple things in our workouts."
O'Brien didn't make it out to too many spring practices, but he continues to receive new interest.
The in-state Spartans are a school O'Brien plans to keep a close eye on.
"I think my favorite thing (about Michigan State) is their coaching staff," O'Brien said. "Coach D'Antonio has turned that program around. He's very realistic too. He doesn't put too much pressure on you."
O'Brien also acknowledged that Pittsburgh has been keeping tabs on him. He wouldn't rule out a possible trip to Pittsburgh at some point.
"They came into my school a couple times, and (his high school coach) has talked to them on the phone a couple times," O'Brien said. "I haven't made any plans yet, but I might in the near future, maybe after this Nike Camp. (Tight ends) coach (Tony) Dews has talked to my coach. I don't really know too much about them, but we're kind of in the process of figuring out (upcoming visits)."