Name: Ian O’Grady
School: Tusculum College
Q: How did you get started playing football?
A: I started playing Pop Warner football in 6th grade after watching my sister cheer for her pop warner team when I was in 5th grade. I grew up watching it on TV with my dad so I wanted to be just like the guys on TV.
Q: What separates you from all the other athletes trying to become a professional?
A: I think my athletic ability as a long snapper and my football I.Q. separates me from other snappers who are trying to become a professional.
Q: Tell us about your college choice, career and what the recruiting process was like.
A: choosing Tusculum as my college choice was a no brainer. The other schools weren’t offering me anything close to what they had to offer as well as the academics they have to offer met my standards. I would stay up all night when I was in high school sending emails out to EVERY FBS, FCS, and a few division 2 schools. After many nights of continuous emailing, I finally got an offer I couldn’t refuse. My career at Tusculum was everything I could’ve hoped for. I was lucky enough to rewarded All-Conference honors as well as play in 47 collegiate games.
Q: What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment in your sports career so far?
My biggest accomplishment in my career would be close between signing my national letter of intent to continue my career at Tusculum College or when I was invited to the National Bowl in Daytona in which I did attend and after playing I the game I caught the attention from my agent.
Q: What do you consider to be one of the more important things you learned from the coaching staff?
A: one thing my head coach, Jerry Odom, always said is progress gets you hired and potential gets you fired. He taught us that if you have potential and you don’t do anything to show or prove it, it means nothing but if a player shows progress to becoming better on and off the field, that’s who coaches want on the field.
Q: What is/was your biggest challenge and how do/did you manage it?
A: one of my biggest challenges was the time I had to face adversity when I broke my foot my freshman year. I started my first three games of the season and then suffered the injury after halftime of game three. For the rest of the season I watched my team struggle due to not having a long snapper. Even when I believed I was healthy enough to play, I still had to sit out as well as the spring season. I learned that you can’t take anything for granted and that adversity hits everyone, and if I would’ve given up when I was a freshman in college after an injury then I would’ve never gotten where I am today.
Q: What is your biggest strength or X factor that you bring to a professional team?
I believe the biggest strength I have to bring to a professional team is my positivity and hard work. I was told at a young age that I would never play football for my high school team and then I was told I would never make it on a college roster. I didn’t allow those negative words to put me down. Instead, I used my determination and positive thinking to continue pushing myself to become a better player on and off the field.
Q: Who is or has been the most influential person in your life?
Instead of one person being influential in my life, I would say it’s my family who has influenced me the most. I blessed to have the family that I have and being from Florida and going to school in Tennessee made it harder for them to support me at my games but they still took the 11 hour drive every Friday to come watch me snap on Saturdays. They’ve always supported my decisions in football and without them I would no way be where I am today.
Q: What are your goals with football? If football does not work out, then what?
My goals right now with football Is to make a team roster or even a practice squad position. Being from a small division II school makes it harder to get my name and numbers out there so I believe if I just had a shot to prove myself and show my talents on the field then there’s nothing more I can ask for. If football doesn’t work out I will continue my career at Walt Disney World where I work as a Business Operations Specialist. I’ve been with the company since I was 16 years old.
Q: How did you prepare for the National Scouting Combine and what are your expectations?
I was able to prepare by training at my local gym every night after I would get off from work. There would be times I would get to the gym at midnight and I wouldn’t leave until it was 2 AM. I always set expectation very high for myself but I also need to remember that I’m not a wide receiver like I was in high school anymore and that I’m a long snapper so I don’t plan on having the fastest 40 yard dash time but I’m still going to push myself to get the fastest time for a snapper.
Q: What would be your ultimate achievement?
My ultimate achievement is to be able to give back to where I came from. I came from a small division II school in college that a weight room the size of a large bedroom which had to be shared with the other 20 teams on campus. my goal is to be invited out to camp, show whoever it is that gave a chance what I can do for their team in order to become successful, and then eventually use my earnings and savings to go back to where I came from and give the younger athletes what I didn’t have so that it can be easier for them to achieve whatever their goals are.
Q: If you have to compare yourself to a current pro player, who would it be and why?
A: Matt Overton because he went through eight years of being a free agent and never gave up once. I have the determination to become the best even if that means training as a free agent for eight years.