Another Florida Player Heads North

One Conor O'Neill evidentially isn't enough for the Badgers, as Wisconsin goes back into Florida to get its third player and 19th verbal commitment for the class of 2009, this time from Lithia's Conor O'Neal.

MADISON – After narrowing his list down to the Badgers, the North Carolina State Wolfpack and the Boston College Eagles, Conor O'Neal knew that his final decision would come down to which environment and coaching staff he liked the best.

On Monday, O'Neal made that decision known, becoming the 19th member of Wisconsin's 2009 recruiting class, according to an interview with high school coach Ken Hiscock in the St. Petersburg Times.

O'Neal becomes the third Florida player in the class and the second player named 'Conor O'Neal', joining another Florida recruit, Fort Lauderdale linebacker Conor O'Neill.

"I really liked the coaches," O'Neal said in the story. "They're a good group of guys, a family-oriented group of guys. I like what coach (Bret) Bielema has done over there the past couple of years."

A first-team all-conference selection from Newsome High School in Lithia, O'Neal's size (6-foot-3, 295 pounds) and athleticism helped his net 35 tackles (26 solo) last season, including six sacks in 12 games. O'Neal also was the team's starting center, helping lead the Wolves to a 9-3 record and a district title, an impressive feet for a team that returned only five starters.

O'Neal took his first official visit to Wisconsin on December 12, along with 11 members already committed to the Badgers' 09 class, and visited North Carolina State this past weekend. O'Neal was also scheduled to visit Boston College the weekend of January 16th, but he canceled that visit after the school fired head coach Jeff Jagodzinski.

O'Neal, who also had scholarship offers from Buffalo, Michigan State and Georgia Southern, was recruited by Wisconsin to play defensive tackle.

"I played both ways in high school," O'Neal said. "I like playing d-line. I like playing o-line. I'll play whatever gets me to college."

Unofficially, O'Neal becomes Wisconsin's 85th scholarship player, maxing out the Badgers available scholarships.

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