If you watched any North Catholic High football game in 2022, there was one particular player who always stood out.
No. 83, Brady O’Hara. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound sophomore starred at tight end and defensive end for North Catholic, and if he was on the field, he was hard to miss.
He tended to be bigger, stronger and faster than the local kids in the WPIAL Class-4A, and Pitt noticed. It resulted in his first official offer.
O’Hara is just a sophomore, a recruit in the class of 2025, so he’s got a long way to go in his recruiting process, but he made it out for Pitt’s Junior Day over the weekend. And even with the familiarity of being a hometown kid, he was happy to be back.
“I had a really fun time,” O’Hara told PSN. “It was very exciting, glad to be back on campus, back at Pitt. Glad to be back with the coaches. It was fun.”
— Brady O’Hara (@BradyOHara4) January 21, 2023
Since Pitt offered O’Hara in September, he’s received offers from Wisconsin and Connecticut, and he made a visit out for Penn State’s Junior Day earlier this month.
O’Hara was able to spend some time with offensive line coach Dave Borbely, who officially offered him back in September, but he also spent a lot of time with tight ends coach Tim Salem, too. He said that while Pitt is still officially figuring out where he fits best at the next level, he wants to play tight end.
So, at least on Saturday, O’Hara spent most of his time with Salem and the tight ends.
“It was just all the tight ends in one room, but (Salem) was talking to all of us, saying, us as a tight end, you need to have your knowledge, dominate the field and know all of that stuff,” O’Hara said. “Because they put their tight ends in the backfield, they’ll have them lined up out wide and they’ll be on the line, so you have to know every part of a tight end no matter where you are.”
When it came to his time with Salem Saturday, it involved a lot of watching film, watching how Pitt’s tight ends operated in 2022 — watching someone like freshman All-American Gavin Bartholomew.
“I could definitely see myself filling into (Bartholomew’s) shoes and succeeding as he’s doing now,” O’Hara said.
He’s seen how Pitt’s offensive scheme moves tight ends all across the offense, basically serving as offensive linemen and wide receivers, and everything in between, and knows that it’s just the requisite of playing the position.
The position involves both catching passes and blocking. O’Hara likes both. He likes Pitt, too.
“I really like the program down there,” O’Hara said. “I’ve been there a few times because of how close it is to where I live. All the coaches are super nice down there, they’re all so welcoming, and they all have a great perspective on the game.”
And while the hometown aspect of his recruitment matters, it isn’t what he tries to think about. O’Hara thinks it’s cool to hold an offer from his hometown program, but he’s trying to find his future home, no matter where it is.
That search, which has included visits to both Pitt and Penn State over the last month and will include a visit to Northwestern soon, will be inclusive. O’Hara will have a lot of interest from a lot of schools, near and far, but Pitt will still hold a place in his heart.
He plans to make it out for as many spring practices as he can, along with Pitt’s spring game in April, along the way.
“I’d say (Pitt) really wants me, and I’m very blessed to have the offer as my hometown, and it’s going very well,” O’Hara said. “Both my brother and sister (Aiden and Belle) go there, so it’s a very big deal to me. They’re definitely in the running.”
O’Hara earned All-Conference honors at defensive end, racking up 48 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and four sacks, a forced fumble and two recoveries, but he’s also a huge, sure-handed target at tight end, too.