O'Brien shows patience in recruiting process

The top tackler in the state of California, as far as JUCO players are concerned, this year was San Bernardino Valley LB Jim O'Brien (6-2, 220). He was so versatile that he played both inside and outside for the Wolverines and because of that he has a handful of D-1 schools recruiting, but at this point he's still waiting on his first offer...

O'Brien played at Rim of the World High School in California and enjoyed a solid prep career, but didn't recreive much in the way of recruiting attention so he decided to head to San Bernardino Valley to continue playing ball.

"It was a good decision for me," O'Brien told JCFootball.com. "I loved the staff here and especially coach (Ernie) Madrigal. They all are really good coaches and it was just the best situation for me and where I was at."

In 2008, as a freshman, O'Brien used his outstanding instincts and athleticism to post 59 tackles, 12.5 tackles-for-loss and 5.5 sacks while playing mostly defensive end.

This season, the talented defender started out playing the strongside linebacker position before moving inside and having an outstanding season there, posting 108 tackles while earning First Team All-Conference honors.

"He's just a ball-player," Madrigal told JCFootball.com earlier this week. "He's so athletic, we decided to keep him inside because he could pursue from sideline-to-sideline and he just never stopped hustling. He played on special teams too, so it's pretty obvious he just loves to play the game and I think he'll be very successful wherever he ends up."

"I just love playing the game," O'Brien added. "I think I'm smart, so I can read things well and I learn quickly. I also just hustle all the time and always run to the ball. It's just how I play the game."

Recruiting hasn't really hit a fever-pitch at this point, but things have begun to pick up for O'Brien with two WAC programs and a Pac 10 program making contact.

"Hawaii said they like me, but they want to watch me this spring," O'Brien said. "Nevada is looking at me a little and UCLA said I'm not really big enough right now, so they want to let me get a little bigger before they make any decisions.

"I'm open to anyone that wants me. I can play inside or outside. I just want to keep playing."

O'Brien is an outstanding student so he's ready to sign right now. He'll have three years to play two wherever he ends up.

Jim O'Brien Scout Profile

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