Richard Davenport has been a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007.
Location, Lunney and tight end play lures O'Grady to Hogs
Fayetteville tight end C.J. O'Grady (15) carries the ball after making a catch during the annual spring Purple-White game Friday, May 30, 2014, at Harmon Stadium in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE There were several reasons why Fayetteville tight end C.J. O’Grady decided to commit to Arkansas on Wednesday. One was his relationship with tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr.
“Coach Lunney is just one of those people when you meet you know right then and there that they are a good guy,” O’Grady said. “Coach Lunney and I have a real strong relationship and I can definitely see myself getting coached by him from watching some of the practices. He has a good sense of humor and at the same time he can get down to business when needed.”
O’Grady, 6-4, 230, 4.8 seconds in the 40-yard dash, picked Arkansas over scholarship offers from Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Louisville and others. Video highlights CLICK HERE
He also pledged to the Hogs because his family could attend his games and Coach Bret Bielema’s history of putting tight ends into the NFL.
Five NFL tight ends, Travis Beckum, Garrett Graham, Jake Byrne, Lance Kendrick and Jake Pedersen played under Bielema.
“Huge impact, with that kind of history and coach (Jim) Chaney’s history of coaching in the NFL with tight ends,” O’Grady said. “This makes Arkansas a perfect fit for tight ends and I don't understand why more wouldn't come here.”
As a sophomore, O’Grady played quarterback and had never played tight end until last year. He recorded 45 receptions for 884 yards and 8 touchdowns, and was named to the All-Arkansas Preps team.
One of O’Grady’s strengths is his ability to make the difficult catches.
“It's all really just natural God given talent,” O’Grady said. “But I have good concentration and I can focus in on just me and the ball.”