Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

February 12, 2013

O’Bryan is at home with Georgetown

Ashland standout lineman signs up to play for Tigers

Kyle Hobstetter
The Independent

ASHLAND — For the past four years, Cade O’Bryan has been part of a family at Ashland. That’s what he’s hoping to experience at Georgetown this fall.

The All-Area Large School Player of the Year signed a letter of intent for the Tigers at the Paul Blazer High School cafeteria on Monday evening.

After a difficult process of trying to find a home for the next four years, O’Bryan felt like heading to Georgetown was the right move for him.

“I feel really wanted at Georgetown and I really wanted to be there,” O’Bryan said. “Georgetown made me feel more wanted than any other college that recruited me.”

The 6-foot-3, 260-pound standout defensive end said he had preferred walk-on spots at Eastern Kentucky and Marshall.

But in the end O’Bryan chose the school that made him feel right at home, and the most that reminded him of his Tomcats roots.

“I want to go somewhere where I can fit in,” O’Bryan said. “They’re all Georgetown guys, they all played at Georgetown and they all graduated from Georgetown. It’s more of like a family atmosphere, like we have at Ashland. That’s just something I want to be around.”

The family feeling was present in the cafeteria as family, friends and community members jammed in to see O’Bryan sign. Even Georgetown head coach Bill Cronin made the trip down for the event.  

The senior was kind of in awe that so many came out for him.

“It’s wonderful, I don’t really know how to explain it,” O’Bryan said. “It’s something I would have never dreamed about.”

Tony Love, Ashland’s new head coach and former longtime defensive coordinator, said O’Bryan is doing something the Tomcats’ staff has talked to him about — finding a place where he can be comfortable.

“We tell the kids when you make that decision you have to have that comfort feeling,” Love said. “You’re going to be there the next four years, and if you don’t feel comfortable right off the bat, you’re making the wrong decision.”

Also a solid offensive lineman, O’Bryan has his choice of which side of the ball he wanted to play. He ultimately chose defense.

The reason? It’s just more fun.

“It’s a lot more fun to try and tackle somebody than it is to block somebody,” O’Bryan said. “I like playing both ways, but defense is a lot more fun for me. I feel like I would have helped out any team I would have went to, but I would help out Georgetown a lot better more defensively.”

O’Bryan will be joining a Georgetown team that had a perfect 10-0 regular season, before losing in the NAIA Football Championship Series first round, in 2012.

O’Bryan helped pave the way to Ashland’s 9-3 record against a rugged schedule.

Love said O’Bryan excelled in high school because he was physically dominant against the competition. He also expects O’Bryan to be dominant at the next level too.

“He made a lot of plays for us because he was just better than them,” Love said. “Once he develops his skills they require for him in college, I think he’ll be a dynamic player. I’ll think he’ll be a difference maker like he was in high school.”

During the postseason, O’Bryan was selected to two high school All-Star games, and was told it was for defense.

When he arrived to one, he was placed on the offensive line. Instead of complaining, O’Bryan made the best of the situation.

“I started both games and had a great time,” he said. “It was awesome.”

After the All-Star games, the awards and the college signing, O’Bryan now is ready to just relax.

“It’s a relief to have everything done and know where I’m going to go next year,” O’Bryan said. “I’m just glad I picked Georgetown.”

KYLE HOBSTETTER can be reached at khobstetter@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2658.