Richard Davenport has been a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007. He also hosts Recruiting Thursday each Thursday from 7 to 8 p.m. statewide.
Summer and season leads to offers
Fayetteville junior C.J. O'Grady (32) moves in to the lane to score as Rogers Heritage sophomore Dane Olsen (24) defends during the first half of play Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, at Fayetteville high.
This time last year, Fayetteville junior C.J. O’Grady wasn’t on any college’s radar, but that all changed this past season.
O’Grady, 6-4, 235, 4.8 seconds in the 40 yard dash, played quarterback as a sophomore, but moved to tight end last summer and started making plays during 7-on-7 tournaments.
“I dominated,” O’Grady said. “It’s where I emerged.”
His playmaking ability was quickly noticed after a few games into the season.
“It’s great to see how far I’ve come,” O’Grady said. “It’s time to get serious man, buckle down and take everything seriously. I have a great opportunity to do something for myself.”
He recorded 45 receptions for 884 yards and 8 touchdowns and was named to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette All Arkansas team. His play has earned him offers from Oklahoma, Louisville, Ole Miss, Wake Forest, Boise State, Arkansas State, Memphis, and Southern Miss. He plans to visit Arkansas on Saturday and will likely receive an offer from the Hogs.
O’Grady wants a school that will allow him to showcase his skills.
“I just want to know if they’re going to look for the tight end,” O’Grady said. “Not only looking for blocking, but a school that’s going to throw throw it too.”
His late father, Larry Marks who lettered for the basketball Hogs from 1988 to 1990. He’s also plays on the hardwood.
“It definitely helps with my agility, my ability to break on the ball, the quickness and my feet,” said O’Grady, who tries to get in the weight room when he can.
O’Grady’s ability to make the difficult catch is his greatest asset. One of the more unlikely receptions came against Rogers Heritage when he fought off three defenders for a touchdown. He said the play and another stood out.
“That one and the one against Muskogee where I caught it one-handed,” he said.