Beyond The Trophy 2020: Get to know Penn Chapter Vice President and linebacker Brian O’Neill


Each week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter for our Beyond the Trophy series.

Name: Brian O’Neill

College: University of Pennsylvania

Height, weight, class, position: 6-2, 240-pound, senior, linebacker

High School: West Essex Regional High School in Roseland, New Jersey

About Brian: Brian has been an impact player on the field the last two seasons for Penn and now is looking to make an impact serving the Rare Disease Community. Brian participated in the 2018 and 2019 Lift For Life events as part of the Iron Quaker and volunteered to assume a leadership role in the Penn Chapter of Uplifting Athletes. He attended the 2020 Leadership Development Conference and is excited to help the UPenn program support the rare disease cause. A native of New Jersey, Brian started 10 games each of the last two seasons at linebacker and in 2019 was a second team All-Ivy selection. He led the Quakers in interceptions in 2019 with three and the last two years as a starter has registered more than 110 tackles and 20-plus tackles for a loss.

 What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?

O’NEILL: Beating Harvard on the last play of the game at their stadium. 

What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes?

O’NEILL: I wouldn’t be where I am today without those who helped me and allowed me to be in my current situation. So I feel it’s necessary to pay that forward and Uplifting Athletes has provided me a chance to help others.

What have you learned from your experience with Uplifting Athletes?

O’NEILL: That any group, no matter how big or small, can have an impact on a large group like the Rare Disease Community. 

What advice would you share with someone in high school looking to play college football?

O’NEILL: Work ethic and being a student of the game are going to propel you to your goals.

Who is your favorite NFL player and why?

O’NEILL: Former Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly because he is so smart and still such a physical player.  

If you could have lunch with any one person (dead or alive), who would you choose and why?

O’NEILL: American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

BRIAN ON THE HOT SEAT

What is your perfect pizza?

O’NEILL: Buffalo Chicken 

All time favorite movie?

O’NEILL: Interstellar

What is your go-to fast food restaurant?

O’NEILL: Taco Bell 

Favorite sports team (any sport)?

O’NEILL: New York Giants

What is the most used app on your phone?

O’NEILL: Snapchat

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