In a rather long week of bad news for Pitt, they get a bit more. RS Junior OL Brian O’Neill announced today that he will forgo his final year of eligibility in a statement released by Pitt:
After careful consideration over the last few weeks, I have decided to enter the 2018 NFL draft. I do not take this decision lightly; therefore, I took an extensive amount of time discussing the situation with my family and coaches. Ultimately, I believe this is the best course of action to achieve my ultimate goal.
Looking back on the past four years, I consider myself one of the luckiest guys in the world. As an incoming freshman, I was welcomed with open arms into this team, school and community. I am extremely proud to have earned my degree and will always call the University of Pittsburgh home.
I am forever grateful to a number of individuals instrumental in my development as a player and person. Coach Narduzzi and Coach Peterson’s support and guidance has been incredible. I am truly appreciative for them and all my teammates and coaches. Additionally, I maintain a special appreciation for Coach Dave Andrews, Coach Dave Bucar and Mark Diethorn. I will never be able to thank all the people who have helped me throughout the past several years, but their support does not go unnoticed.
Moving forward, there is nothing more important to me than representing my family, teammates, coaches, and this great University in a first-class manner. The entire Pittsburgh community has been great to me – thank you!
As always, Hail to Pitt!!!
This certainly did not come as a huge surprise as O’Neill entered the year pretty high on most mock drafts due to his athleticism, especially as shown during his 2 touchdowns last year that earned him the Piesman Trophy.
The most remarkable part about O’Neill was he came in as a tight end, and pretty much over a single off season gained enough weight to become a lineman.
He wasn’t brilliant as Pitt’s left tackle this past season, but will definitely get enough looks to warrant him leaving early. He’d have benefitted from an extra year, but if the money is there, I can’t blame him for leaving early.
Good luck to Brian. I don’t think teams will regret giving him a shot