Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is the host of Recruiting Thursday, a weekly radio show that airs from 7 to 8 p.m. on 92.1 FM in Fayetteville; 93.7 FM in Little Rock; 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home; and 106.9 FM in Arkadelphia.
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Intense O'Toole eyeing Arkansas visit
Athlete Connor O'Toole dives at the finish line of the New Mexico Class 5A state meet. Photo courtesy of Chris Valencia.
Athlete and Arkansas target Connor O’Toole’s desire to win was on full display when he dove at the finish line of the 100 meters at the Class 5A state meet on May 18.
He finished second with a time of 10.70 seconds to rival Montez Wright’s 10.69.
“I knew it was going to be a tight race from the beginning,” O’Toole said. “A quick thought ran through my head and I just dove. I wanted to win it, so I gave it everything I had.”
He paid the price for his dive.
“I had some pretty nasty road rash and big blisters on my palms,” he said.
O’Toole, who received a scholarship offer from Arkansas football on May 21, is optimistic about the direction the Razorbacks are heading under Chad Morris.
“I definitely have done some research from the football aspect,” O’Toole said. “I really like the coaching staff there and where they have been and where they’re at now. I’m super excited to see the turn the program is going to take.”
O’Toole, 6-4, 210 pounds of Albuquerque (N.M.) La Cueva, has scholarship offers from Arkansas, LSU, Baylor, Kansas State, Utah, New Mexico, San Diego State, Colorado, Washington State and others.
“I’m probably going to head up for an unofficial this summer,” O’Toole said. “So hopefully during sometime in June. I don’t know the exact dates yet and then hopefully get back up for an official toward the end of summer or the beginning of the season.”
He recorded 43 receptions for 867 yards, 8 touchdowns and 20 rushes for 211 yards and 3 touchdowns as a junior to help the Bears to a 13-0 record and a Class 6A state title. He also had 12 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2 sacks and a blocked punt.
O’Toole, who was named the Albuquerque Journal metro male Athlete of the Year, scored 20.5 points at the Class 5A track meet. He qualified for state in five individual events and was part of four state-qualifying relays.
He won the 300-meter hurdles state title with a time of 38.36 seconds. He has personal bests of 21.81 in the 200, 14.77 in the 110-meter hurdles, 38.21 in the 300 hurdles and 22' 6 3/4" in the long jump.
O’Toole credits his mother and father for his size and ability.
“They were never collegiate athletes or anything, but they were pretty athletic growing up,” O’Toole said. “All the guys from my mom’s side, that’s where I get my size from and more of my athletic ability comes from my dad’s side.”
He has a 3.76 grade point average and is considering business or engineering as a major.
“I had a 4.0 this semester, so I’m just waiting for them to push out my transcript and hopefully it will be around a high 3.7 or a low 3.8,” he said.
O’Toole has been made aware of Arkansas’ highly regarded Sam M. Walton College of Business.
“Coach Morris sold me a lot on that when I talked to him,” O’Toole said. “It’s definitely top of the line if you want to get a business degree with all of the assists they have up there and connections.”
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