A number of former Bishop O’Connell Knights High School football players and coaches remain involved in the sport in college level, some at the highest level.
Jack Murphy, a former first-team all-state player and two-way first-team All-Sun Gazette lineman his senior year at O’Connell, recently joined the Thundering Herd at Division I Marshall University as a freshman. The 6-foot-4, 300-pound Murphy, a 2019 O’Connell graduate, played at Fork Union Military Academy last fall.
“Marshall is a very good top-level program and I think Jack can play there a lot,” said Colin Disch, who was Murphy’s head coach at O’Connell. “He was very good for us. He is all in for football.”
Disch is no longer coaching at O’Connell or any other high school, and is looking to get involved in possibly scouting of some kind if he doesn’t return to coaching on some level.
* Nate Smith, a 2018 O’Connell graduate, is a sophomore linebacker for the Division I Army football team. Through two games, he had played a lot in a backup role with two tackles.
Look for an upcoming longer story about Smith in the Sun Gazette.
* Ethan Torres, a 2017 O’Connell graduate, remains the top place-kicker for the Division I Bucknell University team. The senior has booted 11 career field goals for Bucknell, including making six last fall, his longest of 38 yards.
He also made 8 of 9 extra points in 2019 and averaged 60.7 yards in kickoffs.
* Bradley Mcgee, a 2017 O’Connell grad, is a sophomore linebacker for the Division I Butler University team.
During the 2019 season, Mcgee played in 11 games for Butler, making 31 tackles, breaking up three passes and forcing one fumble and recovering two.
* O’Connell graduate Myles Hudzick, a defensive back and kick returner, is sitting out this season for the Duke University football team because of COVID-19 concerns.
* Other former O’Connell players listed on 2020 college rosters are freshman runningback Darius Brown (Shenandoah University) and freshman defensive end Rodney Jackson (Wheeling University).
* Former three-year Bishop O’Connell head coach Del Smith is now the defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach at Division I Wagner College.
O’Connell did not have a losing season during Smith’s three years as coach.
Smith was the head coach for three seasons at Division II West Virginia Wesleyan College before leaving for Wagner and also was the defensive coordinator at Bridgewater College after leaving O’Connell.