The impact that COVID-19 has had on the world is undeniable and our everyday lives are still in a holding pattern.
In terms of college football, it’s still unknown as to when or if the 2020 season will take place and recruiting is virtually shutdown.
The players that have already visited schools and are comfortable making their decision are in much better shape, the coronavirus pandemic isn’t having an impact on their recruitment. But a large group of players want and need to make visits in order to decide on their eventual college home.
The other portion of players that are handicapped by the shutdown in recruiting are the ones that were planning on attending prospect and team camps this spring or summer in the hopes of opening the eyes of coaches and hopefully earning a scholarship.
One of the players in that situation is junior lineman Ryan O’Hair from South Fayette High School. To O’Hair’s credit, he’s been able to turn the current situation from a negative into a positive.
”The last time I talked to you, I was 6’7’, 235 and after making visits to Pitt and Penn State, I knew that I was nowhere near where I needed to be, not even close and was way undersized,” said O’Hair. “Even then when I was working at tight end, I was still undersized for that position.”
”I then realized that I would move to offensive tackle and that’s where I could get my body ready for. From that point, I started working my butt off and did that from the end of the season until the first week of March when everything got shutdown. Since all that, I’ve been able to work myself up to 6’8”, 280 and believe I’ve got myself in the conversation for a D-1/Power 5 offer.”
While O’Hair is fully aware that more work needs to be done, he also knows that he’s at least gotten the attention of D-I programs, including the hometown Pitt Panthers.
The Pitt staff has spent this week reaching out to various WPIAL prospects and O’Hair was one of the players that spoke with the Panthers staff.
”Two days ago, my head coach, Coach Rossi and Coach Borbely had a conversation as he was making local calls. He told me that he and Coach Rossi had a very good conversation. Coach Rossi is one of his first calls when asking if he has any potential players for Pitt and he mentioned my name,” said O’Hair. “Ironically, that night I emailed Coach Borbely since I realized aside from that game day visit, I didn’t have a real connection or contact with Pitt football and left my number at the bottom of the email.”
“The next morning at 10 a.m. he texted me and said he wanted to hop on FaceTime at 1:00 to talk to me. We did that and it was a really good conversation. The best point he made to me was since Pitt canceled their summer camps for June, my senior season is going to be really important. He told me that I need to make sure that I’m giving it 110% every play and finishing every play. He said that they’d stay in touch, which was cool to hear, and that I’d for sure be on their radar.”
From the work he’s put in over the last year, O’Hair is motivated to have success but the talk with Borbely has definitely given him some extra motivation.
Gym closed….still grinding
🚨6’8 262🚨 pic.twitter.com/LkeUZZObs7
— Ryan O’Hair (@ryan_ohair) March 19, 2020
”Talking with the Pitt offensive line coach isn’t something you get to do everyday so that was an awesome experience,” said O’Hair. “Because of the coronavirus, I had 6 spring visits cancelled, which was heartbreaking but you also have to know that there’s eventually going to be football and eventually I’m going to play college football someplace so you need to be prepared to do that regardless of how recruiting goes in the off-season.”
“I’m just going to try and prepare myself for whenever things get back underway and I’m just excited to keep working and believe the future has something very exciting in store for me and can’t wait to get back working on the field.”