Florida Linemen Talks Football

Venice rolled through their regular season to an undefeated record in a tough District. Dri Archer (1,482 rushing yards) and Trey Burton(919 rushing yards) were the main beneficiaries of an impressive offensive line. Graduation will hit the line hard, but one player who will return is Center Brian O'Leary. SunStateFootball.com caught up with O'Leary to talk some 2009 football.

Brian O'Leary has athletic bloodlines. His grandfather played Major League Baseball, his Uncle was a FB at Georgia, and his father played at West Virginia. Now it is his turn to take his game to the next level.

Venice's dream of another State Championship(2000- actually were National Champs) ended with a lost to Charlotte in round two of the playoffs(a team they had beaten 56-26 in regular season), O'Leary discussed that game, "It still stings a little. What can you do though, it is over and we have tried to use it as motivation to not let it happen again. This year we are all about closing the deal, winning a State Championship. I can tell you this, we have worked very hard as a team to get bigger, stronger, more athletic, you will see that on the field in 2009."

O'Leary was 6'1, 265 as a junior Center, "I am over 6'2 and weighed in at 288 today. I might have another inch in me height wise and am very comfortable at that weight." Those are pretty good measurables at the Center spot, but O'Leary is not quite ready to be branded a Center yet, "I am going to play Defensive Tackles(as well as OL) this year. It is what I played as a sophomore and I know I can be effective there."

We talked about where he wants to play at the next level, "To begin with, I am blue collar, I think both spots require that mentality. At Center, I think I bring some athletic ability to the spot, I can get to that second level, and fight to the whistle. On the D-line, I have some moves on the pass rush and am a run stuffer. I play a lot of basketball and while I am not Brandon(Wilkinson, 6'4, 210 DE/TE), I more than hold my own."

He continued, "One thing we have at Venice is an incredible coaching staff, from Coach Peacock right on down the line, they really get us prepared. It is a big year for me and I really think I get better technique wise every day we work together, I am looking forward to Spring ball and knocking some guys around. Big game with Naples coming at the end of practice."

In terms of recruiting, Venice has a number of quality prospects led by Trey Burton (QB committed to Florida). "My team is USC, Pete Carroll seems like a great guy and person who you really want to play for. I also like Arizona, Arizona State, USF, UCF, Georgia, FSU, and Wake Forest. I am getting a lot of letters right now from a variety of schools, but don't have any offers. I hope that changes this Spring. I know some schools are coming by to check on Beckett Wales, Brandon Wilkinson, Justin Grant, and myself."

O'Leary is fully qualified.

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