Richard Davenport is a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Patton high on O'Grady's skill set
Junior tight end C.J. O'Grady is gaining interest from Arkansas and several other top SEC schools with his play this season.
Fayetteville Coach Daryl Patton believes junior tight end C.J. O’Grady is a special player.
“I don’t want to put unrealistic expectations on him, but I’ve seen good things in practice and games as well and you just sit there and say did I just see that,” Patton said. “He has great hands and has an uncanny ability because of his basketball skills. He has an unbelievable ability to go up and catch balls with one hand that you just don’t think are possible.”
O’Grady, 6-4, 235, 4.8 seconds in the 40 yard dash, is drawing interest from Arkansas, Arkansas State, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and LSU. He played quarterback until this season.
“He was junior high and last year he played quarterback for us,” Patton said. “I really thought he might be our quarterback this year. He can throw it 70 yards."
"Last year in some sophomore games he looked like Cam Newton out there. He can take over a game but Mitch Marshall beat him out at the quarterback position in the spring and he’s just too good of an athlete to not be on the field so that’s why we moved him to tight end.”
In six games, O’Grady has recorded 23 receptions for 476 yards and 8 touchdowns.
“He’s still young right now and he’s still learning how to practice and how to play the game,” Patton said. “He just has to bring it each and every day. As far as ability and talent the kid’s got it.”
O’Grady, who attended Arkansas’ game against South Carolina, made a one-handed touchdown reception at Muskogee, Okla. that astonished the away crowd and the Roughers’ coach.
“He called me the next day and he said ‘My gosh, I can not believe that kid caught that ball’,” Patton said. “Everybody in the stands and on the sidelines, on the field were just in awe.”