Posted: 7:23 pm Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
By Matt Porter
Dwyer tight end Nick O’Leary is one of two players from South Florida among the Associated Press Top 100 national recruits of 2010.
The No. 1 player on the Big Board, O’Leary is one of two players from South Florida on the list. St. Thomas Aquinas offensive tackle Bobby Hart is also on the list.
As part of their preseason high school football coverage, the AP posted a profile of O’Leary. You can read that article below. To see the entire AP Top 100, scroll to the bottom.
O’Leary looking to make his own name in football
By TIM REYNOLDS
AP Sports Writer
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Contrary to many assumptions, the first name of the consensus No. 1 tight end recruit in the country is not Nicholas.
As in Jack Nicklaus, the name synonymous with golf excellence. Yet when it comes to football, his grandson is well on his way to making his own name. And that’s why just about every major college program wants to see Nicklaus — call him Nick — O’Leary wearing their uniform next fall.“Nick is very proud of his grandfather,” said Jack Daniels, O’Leary’s coach at defending Florida Class 4A state champion Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer High. “But when it comes to football, he doesn’t want that to be associated with him. That’s just his granddad who just happens to be the greatest golfer ever. Nick wants to be his own guy.”
The kid’s doing just fine in that department. Scouts simply drool over O’Leary’s 6-foot-4, 230-pound frame, and many coaches say that his hand-eye coordination is among the finest they’ve ever seen.
It helps his golf game, for certain. O’Leary was breaking 80 by the time he was a teenager. An even-par round is fairly common these days, and he once shot 77 at Bear’s Club, the diabolical track that his grandfather designed in Palm Beach County and a course that several of the world’s best players call home. Let’s put it this way: They don’t always shoot 77 there.
“I never knew I was going to be thought of as the No. 1 tight end in the country or anything like that,” O’Leary said. “But now that I’m there, I just want to keep it like that. Keep doing my best. Keep getting better.”
Miami and Florida State seem to be atop O’Leary’s list, and Alabama, Georgia (where his father studied) and North Carolina also are strongly in the running. O’Leary said he doesn’t plan to make his pick until the end of the high school season, with hopes that Dwyer can pull off another deep run in the state tournament.
At one time, Ohio State — his grandfather’s school — was on O’Leary’s list as well.
Imagine, just three years ago before he enrolled at Dwyer,
O’Leary was considered a running back prospect. But when he arrived at Dwyer, coaches took one look at him and decided he was meant to play tight end.
Clearly, that was the right decision.
“He wasn’t the top-rated guy last year,” Daniels said. “We remind him of that every day. When he was playing 7-on-7 against teams from Miami and all these teams across the state, he gets their best shot. People know him. He gets double-teamed. He gets triple-teamed. Late hits. Cheap shots. He gets the best that everybody has, so he has to work harder than everybody else.”
That’s the lesson his grandfather taught him long ago.
When Jack Nicklaus shows up at Dwyer games — and he’s a regular in the crowd — it’s a normal thing. To O’Leary, it’s just Grandpa in the stands, watching along with the rest of the family. Most of the time, other spectators tend to respect Nicklaus’ privacy as well, knowing he’s there simply to watch football.
Sure, Nicklaus’ company has a banner hanging on a fence at the school, along with several other sponsors. But there’s no special favors, no special treatment. When O’Leary does something wrong in practice, like not telling the punt coverage team — he doubles as Dwyer’s punter — which way the ball is sailing, he gets barked at like any other player would in that situation.
“I just do what I do,” O’Leary said. “Every day, I just try to improve myself. That’s all I can do.”
AP Top 100 recruits of 2010
Stephone Anthony, LB, Anson HS, Wadesboro, N.C.
DeAnthony Arnett, WR, Saginaw (Mich) High School
Pauley Asiata, OL, St. Louis School, Honolulu
Deion Barnes, DL Northeast HS, Philadelphia
Todd Barr, DL, Lakewood (Calif.) High School
Mike Bellamy, RB, Charlotte HS, Punta Gorda, Fla.
Michael Bennett, DL, Centerville (Ohio) High School
Devon Blackmon, QB/S, Summit High School, Fontana, Calif.
Victor Blackwell, WR, Mater Dei High School, Santa Ana, Calif.
Quan Bray, QB/RB, Callaway HS, Hogansville, Ga.
Ladarius Brown, WR, Waxahachie (Texas) High School
Malcolm Brown, RB, Steele High School, Cibolo, Texas
Mike Caputo, LB/S, West Allegheny (Pa.)
KaDeem Carey, RB, Canyon del Oro High School, Tucson, Ariz.
Hasean Clinton-Dix, S, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.
Jadeveon Clowney, DL, South Pointe High School, Rock Hill, S.C.
Rodney Coe, RB/LB, Edwardsville (Ill.) High School
La’El Collins, OL, Redemptorist Senior High School, Baton Rouge, La.
Aubrey Coleman, WR/S, Walnut (Calif.) High School
Brey Cook, OL, Har-Ber High School, Springdale, Ark.
Isaiah Crowell, RB, Carver High School, Columbus, Ga.
DaVaris Daniels, WR, Vernon Hills (Ill.) High School
Trey DePriest, LB Springfield (Ohio) High School
Quandre Diggs, CB, Angleton (Texas) High School
Ray Drew, DE, Thomas County Central High School, Thomasville, Ga.
Jeff Driskel, QB, Hagerty High School, Oveido, Fla.
Steve Edmond, LB, Daingerfield (Texas) High School
Sheroid Evans, S, Fort Bend Dulles High School, Sugar Land, Texas
George Farmer, WR,Junipero Serra High School, Gardena, Calif.
Chase Farris, DL, Elyria (Ohio) High School
Kelvin Fisher, RB/S, Higley High School, Gilbert, Ariz.
Sedrick Flowers, OL, Galena Park North Shore High School, Houston, Texas
Kiehl Frazier, QB, Shiloh Christian High School, Springdale, Ark.
Christian French, LB, Kennedy High School, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Curtis Grant, LB, Hermitage High School, Richmond, Va.
Doran Grant, CB, St. Vincent-St. Mary, Akron, Ohio
Aaron Green, RB, James Madison High School, San Antonio, Texas
Garrett Greenlea, OL, Klein Collins High School, Spring, Texas
Jason Gibson, LB, Junipero Serra High School, Gardena, Calif.
Eilar Hardy, S, Pickerington (Ohio) Central High School
Bobby Hart, OT, St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Savon Huggins, RB, Saint Peter’s Prep, Jersey City, N.J.
Dondi Kirby, CB, Gateway HS, Monroeville, Pa.
Cyrus Kouandjio, OL, DeMatha Catholic High School, Hyattsville, Md.
Ben Koyack, TE, Oil City (Pa.) High School
A.C. Leonard, TE-DE, University Christian High School, Jacksonville, Fla.
Albert Louis-Jean, CB, Brockton (Mass) High School
Desmond Jackson, DL, Spring Westfield High School, Houston, Texas
Tim Jernigan, DL, Columbia High School, Lake City, Fla.
Anthony Johnson, DT,, Walker High School, New Orleans
Tommy Jordan, OL, Ridgefield (Conn.) High School
Conor Hanratty, OL, New Canaan (Conn.) High School
Ken Hayes, DL, Toledo (Ohio) Whitmer High School
Matthew Hegarty, LB, Aztec (N.M.) High School
Christian Heyward, DL, Point Loma High School, San Diego.
Cyrus Hobbi, LB, Saguaro High School, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Brett Hundley, QB, Chandler (Ariz.) High School
Ryan Kelly, OL, Lakota West High School, West Chester, Ohio
Cody Kessler, QB, Centennial High School, Bakersfield, Calif.
Marqise Lee, WR/DB, Junipero Serra High School, Gardena, Calif.
Colt Lyerla, LB, Hillsboro (Ore.) High School
Anthony Mangiro, OL, Roxbury High School, Succasunna, N.J.
Trey Metoyer, WR, Whitehouse High School, Whitehouse, Texas
Braxton Miller, QB, Wayne High School, Huber Heights, Ohio
Steve Miller, DE, Canton (Ohio) McKinley High School
Malcolm Mitchell, DB, Valdosta (Ga.) High School
Viliami Moala, DL, Grant Union High School, Sacramento, Calif.
Nick O’Leary, TE, Dwyer High School, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Jeoffrey Pagan, DL, Asheville (N.C.) High School
Charone Peake, WR, Dorman High School, Spartanburg, S.C.
Todd Peat, DL, Corona Del Sol High School, Tempe, Ariz.
Jameel Poteat, RB, Bishop McDevitt, Harrisburg, Pa.
Ejuan Price, LB, Woodland Hills, Pittsburgh
Trevon Randle, LB, Clear Springs High School, League City, Texas
Cedric Reed, RB, Cleveland (Texas) High School
Antonio Richardson, OL, 6-6, 310, Ensworth High School, Nashville, Tenn.
Jay Rome, TE, Valdosta (Ga.) High School
Anthony Sarao, LB, Holy Cross, Absecon, N.J.
Leroy Scott, CB, South Houston High School, Pasadena, Texas.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Gig Harbor High School, Gig Harbor, Wash.
Herschel Sims, RB, Abilene (Texas) High School
Bubba Starling, QB, Gardner-Edgerton High School, Gardner, Kan.
Tony Steward, LB, Menendez High School, St. Augustine, Fla.
Ron Tanner, DB, Eastmoor Academy, Columbus, Ohio
DeAthony Thomas, CB, Crenshaw High School, Los Angeles
Lawrence Thomas, LB, Renaissance High School, Detroit, Mich.
Greg Townsend, DB, Beverly Hills (Calif.) High School
Josh Turner, CB/WR, Millwood High School, Oklahoma City, Okla.
Anthony Wallace, LB, Skyline High School, Dallas, Texas
Aundrey Walker, OL, Glenville High School, Cleveland
Sammy Watkins, WR, South Fort Myers (Fla.) High School
Christian Westerman, OL, Hamilton High School, Chandler, Ariz.
James Wilder Jr., LB, Plant High School, Tampa, Fla.
Brandon Williams, RB, Brookshire (Texas) Royal High School
Ishaq Williams, DL, Abraham Lincoln High School, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Karlos Williams, DB, Ridge Community High School, Davenport, Fla.
Kasen Williams, WR, Skyline High School, Sammamish, Wash.
Antwaun Woods, DL, William Howard Taft High School, Woodland Hills, Calif.
Marquise Wright, DL, Paramus (N.J.) Catholic High School
Andre Yruretagoyena, OL, Chaparral High School, Scottsdale, Ariz.