On Tuesday afternoon, the Wisconsin Badgers football team received another preferred walk-on commitment. Grady O’Neill (Prior Lake, Minn.) is a 5-foot-11 and 165 pound unranked wide receiver out of St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights, Minn. O’Neill was offered his PWO spot on Nov. 2 and visited Madison for the Nebraska game on Nov. 20.
I am extremely blessed and honored to announce my commitment to continue my academic and athletic career at the University of Wisconsin. I would like to thank my family, friends, coaches, and everyone else who has made this possible. Go Badgers! #OnWisconsin pic.twitter.com/NFXOhgslTd— Grady O'Neill (@gradyoneill7) December 21, 2021
While you might balk when you read his size (at least I did) but watching his Hudl tape reassured me that this is a guy who can potentially contribute down the line for UW. He is small, yes, but he’ll gain weight and strength in a college lifting program and he is both quick and fast, running a laser-timed 4.49 40-yard dash. He finished third in the state in the 200-yard dash as a junior and will look to improve upon that this spring.
He is also elusive as hell, juking dudes left and right while getting extra yards. I also like that he returns kicks, a position at which Wisconsin always needs more bodies.
In 11 games last season, O’Neill caught 33 passes for 527 yards and eight touchdowns while rushing for 316 yards (on only 32 carries) and two more scores. He also returned nine kicks for 314 yards (34.9 yards per return) and a score while returning 29 punts for 104 yards which is, admittedly, not great.
After digging through his Twitter account I found that he had offers from Bemidji State and Concordia-St. Paul while receiving interest from St. Thomas (Minn.) and Harvard.