Former Saddleback College tight end shares his experiences

Colin O’Brien catches a pass. Tyler Davis Creative/Courtesy

After four years of football at Mission Viejo High School Colin O’Brien is continuing his football career at Saddleback College, playing an offensive position, tight end.

At the end of his senior year O’Brien had not received any offers from colleges. Instead of attempting to walk-on at a division one school he decided to take the community college route. 

He looked around at many different community colleges across California including Mt. San Antonio College and American River College. Although O’Brien was interested in those colleges and enjoyed his conversations with their coaches he decided to stay closer to home at Saddleback College. 

While looking at colleges O’Brien realized how much the Saddleback football coaches utilized  the tight end position. He switched to tight end for his senior year of high school and is still learning the new spot.

A big factor in choosing Saddleback was the chance for his parents to come to his games. His main goal coming to Saddleback was to gain more muscle. Coming out of high school, he weighed about 207 pounds, which he knew was not going to be enough to hold up against college talent.

“What I liked most about playing at Saddleback was being with brothers that come from the same struggle whether it be grades, eligibility, weight, physique or whatever it might be,” O’Brien says. “They are all trying to get to the same goal, which is to play D1 college.”

As Saddleback had recently finished construction of the new sports complex O’Brien was not too disappointed he was not able play in it before he left. Despite that he is excited for other players having the opportunity to play on it and believes it will be a strong recruitment piece to bring other athletes into Saddleback.

O’Brien made the commitment after the season ended to play division one football at the University of Wyoming. He had an offer from Boise State University as well.

What separated Wyoming from other schools was that they offered him a visit to come on campus. They also offered him an offer to play football during the visit.

“They are a very good program in general, I mean they get guys in the NFL every year so I just thought that it seemed like a good place for me,” O’Brien says

He enjoyed his time at Saddleback and has made many memories throughout his journey.

“I’ll miss my teammates a lot,” O’Brien says. “I’m going to miss the coaches definitely, Coach Mac, Coach Todd, Coach Prezler, all helped me to where I am today.”

Over the offseason Wyoming sent him workouts to keep in shape during COVID-19. Now that he is in season they only work out twice a week, compared to the offseason where the team worked out five to six days a week.

In the 2020 college football season O’Brien is on the active roster for Wyoming. 

Looking into the future he says he would love to go professional and make it to the National Football League. O’Brien also would love to give back to his parents and everything they have done for him.

“They’ve put a lot of money into me and my football career and I just want to be able to give back to them, give them everything they wanted and make them happy,” O’Brien says.