“Of course I’m staying! Why would I wanna leave my brothers before I have to?” O'Connell, the 6-8, 354-pound fourth-year junior out of Wenatchee texted CF.C following a Twitter report by Lars Hanson of Rivals.com.
O'Connell had one of the more remarkable campaigns in college football in 2016, and in WSU program history. Despite logging his first career start this season, he went on to capture first-team All-America honors from all of the five majors:
American Football Coaches Association
Football Writers of America
Walter Camp Football Foundation
WSU kicker Jason Hanson, who went on to a spectacular 20-year career with the Detroit Lions, is the only other Cougar to be named a first-team unanimous All-American selection (1989).
O'Connell was also one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy this season, awarded to the nation's best interior lineman on offense or defense. Additionally, the Cougar left guard was named first-team All-America by:
Pro Football Focus
If you're wondering just how the heck an o-lineman goes from his first collegiate start just a few months ago to a unanimous All-American, you'll want to re-read our interview with WSU assistant coach Clay McGuire. Here's what McGuire told CF.C.
* The definition for unanimous speaks for itself but to be considered a consensus All-American, a player must be named a first-team honoree by three of the five major organizations: AP, AFCA, FWAA, Sporting News and Walter Camp Football Foundation. Cougars Jerome Harrison (2005); Rien Long (2002); Jason Hanson (1989) and Mike Utley (1988) are the only other WSU consensus All-Americans.
RELATED: More reasons to love Cody O'Connell