Junior Profile - Brody O'Connor

Brody O'Connor is a 6-0, 195-pound athlete from Issaquah (Wash.) Skyline, and O'Connor is a jack of all trades when it comes to the gridiron. Not only has he led the Spartans the last two seasons as a linebacker, but he's also the backup quarterback.

"I'm kind of a utility guy," O'Connor told Dawgman.com with a bit of a chuckle. "I'm aggressive. When I watch film of myself I can really see it come through. I'm always hyped, full of energy. I just want to go out and kill people."

At his size, you might think Brody is a bit undersized to be anchoring the middle for Skyline, but he isn't concerned. "My Dad is 6-5 and 250 pounds, so I'm expecting to get bigger," he said. He earned second-team all-KingCo 3A honors as a junior to top his honorable mention status as a 10th grader.

His 40 is in the 4.8-4.9 range and he currently benches 280 pounds. As with his teammate and starting quarterback Brian Foreman, O'Connor also flashes a bit of talent out on the diamond.

"I'm not sure yet what's going to happen," Brody said when asked if he'll pursue football or baseball in college. "A lot will depend on my senior year. He plays catcher for Skyline and also for the Eastside Mariners. "I play on Dave Valle's team (Eastside Mariners)," Brody said. "That's been a good hook-up for me. Our team has a lot of experience playing together. We've been together for the past 4 or 5 years."

He's thrown out 8 baserunners in four games for Skyline so far this spring. He's also belted a dinger, a double and three singles offensively for the Spartans.

Being the catcher on Valle's legion team has paid off major dividends for O'Connor. He had an opportunity to catch the home-run derby during last year's All-Star MLB game at Safeco Field. Brody will never forget it. "Actually I kind of got used to them," he said when asked about watching the major-leaguers belt ball after ball out of the park. "For a day, I got to feel what it's like to be a superstar."

He also received a nice kudo last summer for his play with the pill. "For the Junior Olympics, I was invited down to Houston to try out for their team," he said. "The top-40 players in the country in my age group are invited."

When he thinks about possibly trying both sports in college, he doesn't have to look far to see one of his former teammates giving it a shot locally. "If I got the chance I'd love to do both," Brody said. "I've been lucky in that I've had quite a few role models to learn by, including Simi (Reynolds)." Simi will be enrolling with a baseball scholarship this fall but will also be walking on to give football a shot with the Huskies.

O'Connor knows what it's like being a state champs. It's a feeling he wants to recreate this fall. "After winning state two years ago, nobody gave us a chance last year," he said. "But I think this year we can do it. I think we have a great chance. I'm excited."

Not only did the Spartans win, but they did so over a Lakes team that had some quality D1 talent on it, including current Huskies Reggie Williams and Matt Griffith. "It was exciting going up against him," Brody said. "I like to watch that tape and see how I hit him (Reggie) hard. It feels good, knowing that he's one of the best guys at the next level." Brody also knows current Washington safety Owen Biddle. His brother his a good friend of Owen's.

Even though Brody has proven himself and then some on the defensive side of the ball, it looks like he's going to get an equal opportunity in Skyline's backfield. "I've talked to the coaches and they are telling me that I'm going to play running back this fall, so I'm training for that," he said. "I played running back in youth ball, so we'll see what happens."

It's clear O'Connor is a tremendous athlete, and he's getting literature from schools for both sports. "I'm getting letters for football from mainly west coast teams," he said. "Teams like Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Arizona State. For baseball, I'm getting letters from the local schools, like Portland State, but also from schools like LSU and Tulane."

Being proficient in two sports presents logistics problems like you can't believe. "I have camp offers from schools like Oregon State, the Beavers, but baseball is a priority until August," Brody said. "I think we have a passing league at U-Dub and also the one in Canada (Big Kahuna). That one is fun. We've won it two years in a row. I'm looking forward to that one."

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