In the end, relationships were a deciding factor in the recruitment of Glenwood senior Cameron O’Neil.
O’Neil committed to Pittsburgh via Twitter on Tuesday. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound receiver chose Pitt over his other five finalists, which included Illinois, Memphis, Troy and Virginia. He has eight total FBS offers, according to 247.
“Really it was because of the connections I had before I even went there,” O’Neil said. “It was like we were already family, and I hadn’t met the coaches yet. I already had a good relationship with them.”
O’Neil visited Pitt on July 22, and he said he came away impressed with what he saw. The visit as well as Pitt’s consistent push in recruiting O’Neil really helped the Panthers earn his commitment.
“I fell in love with it,” O’Neil said. “I liked everything: the college, the campus, Pittsburgh itself, the facilities, and everything Pitt had to offer to me.”
Glenwood head coach Jason Gibson spoke highly of his standout wide receiver earlier this summer after his recruitment really started to heat up.
“He’s the best player on the field,” Gibson said. “He can run, he catches the ball better than anybody in this area, he’s physical and he can block. He’s the prototypical Division I football player. He’s what you’re looking for.”
Gibson added that O’Neil is the total package off the field, too.
“It makes it so much simpler, to be able to put your reputation on the line for a young man who works hard and represents himself, his family and school (so well),” Gibson said. “Those are the guys in recruiting who are winners, and he’s a winner.”
O’Neil said it was important to him to wrap up his recruitment before his senior year began. He said he had thoughts of committing to Pitt way back when they first offered him in May but wound up doing his due diligence by looking at his other options.
Now that his recruitment is settled, O’Neil turns his attention to Glenwood football. The Gators are poised to make a serious run toward an AISA state championship, and O’Neil is excited to try and make it happen.
“I can’t wait for (the season) to start,” O’Neil said. “I’m ready to see how it’s going to go with a new team and everything. Hopefully, we can win a championship.”
Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports