Florida State has been actively pursuing 2024 recruits recently. One of the emerging quarterbacks from that class is Danny O’Neil from Indianapolis, IN. Coming off of a stellar sophomore season, FSU has started recruiting the top-flight signal-caller and hosted him for a visit last week.
Danny led his Cathedral High team to a 14-1 record and a state championship this past season. The dual-threat standout amassed over 3200 yards of offense to go along with an impressive 43 total touchdowns to just 2 interceptions. As he says, he knew the offense had to do its job this past season in order to make a run at the state championship.
“I knew coming into the season that we had a talented defense so it was going to be up to the offense for us to put up enough points to win,” O’Neil said. “We got off to a slow start, winning 14-0 and 21-7 early on, but after that, we started to put up 35-40 points a game and were blowing people out. I think I finished just five games this past season. We had a strong brotherhood because as a school and a team we were forced to go through the loss of a teammate. We all came together and trusted each other.”
O’Neil threw for 2,956 yards this past season - as a pocket passer, he uses his legs as a weapon to get out of the pocket and can use them to make teams pay in the run game. He’s been training since the 6th grade for this moment.
“I’ve been training since 6th grade with Anthony Morelli, the former Penn State quarterback,” O’Neil said. “He saw me back then and told me that if I worked hard and put in work I would get my chance. It is starting to happen now. Schools like FSU, Indiana, Notre Dame, Purdue, Michigan State, Penn State, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, and Syracuse have started to recruit me.”
Danny’s 7-on-7 coach Dwayne Carter is who put FSU in contact with Danny as he reached out to new quarterback’s coach Tony Tokarz. Since then FSU had him on a visit and they are evaluating the standout quarterback at this time.
“My 7-on-7 coach contacted Tony Tokarz about me, and since then we’ve been in contact,” O’Neil said. “I was down that way for a tournament and thought it would be cool to stop by since it wasn’t often I would get a chance to get down there to FSU. The visit itself was great! I was there at 10 a.m., met with some GAs and Coach Tokarz. I took a tour of the campus - it is a beautiful campus. It was a little chilly which surprised me since it was Florida. We also checked out the facilities and they showed me the new facilities that are coming. It was nice.”
O’Neil said that before the visit he didn’t envision himself really considering FSU, but with the visit complete the Seminoles are firmly in his mind as a school he could see himself playing at.
“We took some recruiting pictures which was really cool,” O’Neil said. “When we were walking out we saw Coach Norvell. He said he was really excited to have me and that he was looking forward to seeing me at summer camp this year.”
“To be honest I never put much thought into FSU but after the visit, they are at the top of the list of schools I’ve seen so far.” continued O’Neil. Coach Tokarz and I just connected. I see how he loves his quarterbacks and the love he has for the program. I was able to have him teach me something that I can implement into my game. He took the time to do that which stood out to me and showed me how he is as a coach. Talking football with him was the highlight of the visit. We talked about the language they use and how he reads and teaches things, and he told me about how he adapts to each quarterback he has. He told me he was impressed with my film and the stats I put up, and that those things are going to help me and my recruitment take off soon. We talked about the different quarterbacks they have, how with Jordan Travis they were a top 25 offense. They like their room there. It was cool to see how an elite, Power 5 program runs their stuff.”
Danny told us the coaching staff discussed their drive to get the program back to what fans, and the coaches themselves, expect of FSU.
“If FSU can get some early recruits, continue to get some elite guys that can bring guys with them, they will get it back,” O’Neil said. “It’s not the standard set in 2013-2014 but we talked about the class coming in, the offensive linemen coming, the big-time things they did at wide receiver, and all of that. They are moving in the right direction especially offensively. They will be rock solid soon. I look at it like if I go there it will be easier to get it back because of the good players coming in. They have some dudes there and I want the competition. If I didn’t think I was a competitor then I shouldn’t be recruited. Competition like they have - that gives me the drive to be better and work harder than the next guy.”
System and coaching are vital to Danny on the next level and they will be the big factors that go into his decision.
“I like to throw the ball but I also want to play in a balanced offense,” O’Neil said. “I want to go to a school that gives the keys to the offense to the quarterback. It’s up to us to get the team in the right formation, right protections, and to check into different things when needed. I want to take control and I want to win. Playing for smart coaches that have good game plans is a must for me. Whichever is the best fit for me and my family, and getting a good education are important factors as well.”
Look for Danny to visit FSU again in the spring and possibly the spring game.