Ex-Michigan State QB Tyler O’Connor hoping for NFL shot
The 2016 college football season did not go the way Tyler O’Connor wanted, but he’s hoping to get another chance at the next level.
LBS spoke with O’Connor last week about his preparation for Michigan State’s Pro Day, which hopefully will lead to a shot in the NFL. The Spartans went just 3-9 last season, while O’Connor threw for 1,970 yards, 16 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He told LBS what he’s been working on since the season ended and what he wants to show scouts.
“Just want to show them my athleticism, my ability to make plays, and then just show how much I’ve worked this offseason to quicken my release, to be more accurate, and to be more reliable when it comes to throwing the football,” O’Connor told LBS.
“(Last season) did not go as planned, but I think the NFL guys understand that the whole season I had the respect of my teammates. They wanted me in command, and being voted captain — being appreciated by all the fans, the coaches, the players, I hope shows the kind of person I am.”
O’Connor is hoping to follow Kirk Cousins and Connor Cook as the next Michigan State QB to make it in the NFL. He told LBS that he believes the pro style offense and continuity within the coaching staff are reasons why Michigan State has done well in developing quarterbacks lately.
“The learning curve I believe is not as steep in the NFL trying to learn these offenses,” he said.
O’Connor also says he and Cook are close and speak regularly, including just before Cook’s NFL start in the playoffs for the Raiders.
“He’s a great guy, he’s been a great mentor to me. We roomed together for four years on the road,” said O’Connor.
O’Connor also touched on the controversy from the 2015 season with Cook not being named a team captain.
“It’s a great question. Being around him and being close to him, I know that was tough for him to handle,” O’Connor told Larry Brown Sports. “But we had so many great leaders on the team that year. Those three captains that we had that year, it’s tough to say that none of them should have been captain. There were some great leaders on that team. I was one of the guys who voted for Connor and was shocked when he didn’t get that opportunity. But nonetheless, he’s a great leader on the field. He does a great job leading the offense, being in the huddle, and being constructive when talking to other players. And he always had the respect of the players around him. It was just one of those times where we had such a great amount of leaders on that team that the other three guys got more votes.”
You can hear our whole interview below: