Michigan State Spartan Stud QB Tyler O’Connor Discusses Footballl and Competing for a Job!
Hondo Carpenter: When you were in high school you had a swagger, not of arrogance, but of the love of football. I’m seeing that again.
Tyler O’Connor: That’s the biggest thing with me right now is my confidence and my comfortability with everything is as high as it’s ever been. When you do that you can finally go out and play without thinking. I don’t think about the play that’s called, I just go out and do it. You just let your skills show. You let them go do what they can do. Like I said, just go out and play. That’s when every athlete is at their best. That’s I feel where I’m at right now and it’s working out.
HONDO: You’re able to help each other out while you’re competing for the same job. How do you do that?
O’CONNOR: It’s the family atmosphere that Coach D has established. Every position room here is tight. There’s competition in every room, but every room is tight. And that’s just how it is. Every time someone comes off the field, ‘That’s now what I saw…I think you could have done this’. We’re helping each other out. Not only that, outside of football we hang out all the time on the weekends and we’ll go out together and stuff like that. The family atmosphere that Coach D has instilled in every single one of us and the chemistry on our team… Not that I know of other schools, but I think the chemistry on our team is above every other place.
HONDO: Brad as your coach, and you quarterbacks, are a band of brothers. You’re all rooting for each other. I think that’s the secret that’s making you guys so good.
O’CONNOR: Right. I think you’re exactly right. I think a good showing of that is, every time during the season when a series is over, we all come over and meet in the middle on the 50 yard line behind all the teammates. We all talk about what we could have done on this play, on this play. Like I said, not only does that help him out, but it helps everyone else to see this is what you do in this situation. It’s all for the team. If that’s my job, then that’s my job. My job right now is to get as good as I can be if the opportunity presents itself for me to go in.
HONDO: You and Connor both this year are more like you were in high school. Damion’s not quite there yet where it’s fun. Are you able to give him some advice?
O’CONNOR: Yeah. And I think the biggest thing is, and I’ve said it to him a few times already this spring, see what you see. I think he knows what’s going on and he thinks he’s gonna be right, but he doesn’t have confidence. He doesn’t throw the ball with conviction sometimes because he’s not confident in this and that he’s gonna be right. I say that to him all the time because that’s his biggest thing. He’s got the arm…he can throw the ball 70 yards. He can run the ball and he can do everything. But once he starts throwing with conviction and have the confidence and that demeanor, then the sky’s the limit for him.
HONDO: Do you remember all those times when you were in high school and I said please slide, you’re gonna make me die? Remember that? Your killing me here Tyler.
O’CONNOR: (Laughing) I do. I still don’t know that I’ve adopted that yet. I haven’t done it yet.
HONDO: You play like Max Bullough at the quarterback position. Do you think that gives you a bit of an edge, that you’re gonna drop that shoulder and go head to head with that linebacker?
O’CONNOR: Yeah, that’s the thing. I just can’t picture myself shying away or sliding or running out of bounds… I run out of bounds, I kinda do sometimes, but sliding in the middle of the field is not gonna happen. That’s just something that, I don’t know, I can’t do it.
HONDO: Because there’s so much depth and so many good quarterbacks, does it maybe benefit you that you don’t worry about, ‘if I go down there’s nobody’?
O’CONNOR: I’ve been blessed to have not gone through so many injuries ever in my life. So I’m not as worried about that. But honestly, yeah, we have great depth where between us three I think we’re all very good quarterbacks. I think we could all run the offense, run the show. I think regardless of what happens we’ll be alright.