Foothill College quarterback Kelly O'Brien signs with Fresno State…
O'Brien Fills a Need
Kelly O'Brien (6-6, 210) is a self-proclaimed late bloomer. Standing about 6'2 coming out of Loyola High School in Los Angeles in 2007, he wasn't highly recruited despite being the son of a former NFL Pro Bowl quarterback Ken O'Brien. UC Davis, where his father played, showed some interest out of high school. "Coach Bob Biggs is a friend of my dad," O'Brien added. "I always knew I could play," said O'Brien. "My dad always gives me tips but he never put pressure on me." O'Brien sat out two seasons before enrolling at Foothill College in the fall of 2009. In those two years, he grew four inches. "I knew I would play [D1 college ball] but decided on JC ball," said O'Brien. Despite possessing the size and attributes of a D1 recruit, he was lightly recruited at Foothill. An injury cut his season short, playing in just eight games. He threw for 1,218 yards and 15 touchdowns and was all set to sign with Sacramento State, where his uncle is the head coach. Then Fresno State came into the picture. "Fresno State started recruiting me in early January," said O'Brien. He took his official visit January 15-17, running back A.J. Ellis was his host. "I think he was the only one on campus that weekend," said O'Brien. "A.J. is a great guy. He was awesome on my trip." With 2009 starter Ryan Colburn and heralded gunslinger Derek Carr on the roster, the ‘Dogs seem stacked at quarterback. However, Bulldog head coach Pat Hill stated with the transfer of Matt Faulkner before the 2009 season, the team has only two quarterbacks returning for 2010. (Ebahn Feathers future at quarterback is unknown at this time.) And Hill didn't want to fill the extra quarterback spot with true freshman. He stated he wanted a quarterback with some maturity. With the possibility of Carr taking a redshirt season in 2010, FS would face the possibility of using a true freshman as Colburn's backup. This is where the 21-year-old O'Brien fills the need. "Fresno State tried everything to get me in for spring," O'Brien said about enrolling mid-year in January. "I committed just days before the start of the semester." Hill offered him during his official visit. O'Brien went home and took a few days to think it over before giving the ‘Dogs a verbal commitment. While he will not be here for spring ball, he expects to come in and compete in fall camp. "I got to come in and learn the program," said O'Brien. "I always wanted to complete for starting position. But a redshirt could be a possibility." If Hill opens up the quarterback battle in the spring and fall, Carr is named the starter, and Colburn remains as the backup, O'Brien could redshirt and still have three years of eligibility. Nonetheless, he is happy to be a Bulldog. "I wanted to play in a pro-style offense," he added. "My dad and I talked about what [pro-style] offenses are great and Fresno State and Oregon State always came up. I remember during my junior year watching Fresno State versus USC. I've always liked how they competed." You can now follow BarkBoard.com via Twitter. Discuss in BarkBoard.com Forums. If you have not by now, subscribe to BarkBoard.com. Click HERE to get access to the members-only content from BB.C and the nation-wide Scout.com network. ©Copyright 2009, BarkBoard.com and Scout.com. All rights reserved.
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