West Essex Football's Brian O'Neill Signs Letter of Intent to Play at University of Pennsylvania


NORTH CALDWELL, NJ — After years of excellence in the middle of a stout West Essex Knights defense, Brian O’Neill, a linebacker from Roseland, has decided to take his career to the next level, committing to play college football for the University of Pennsylvania.

O’Neill has been named an All-Conference player for the past three seasons, and has been an All-Essex County player for two years. In addition to these honors, O’Neill will be receiving the National High School Football Coaches’ Association Scholar Athlete for Essex County in March.

O’Neill is a standout athlete on the field, leading the Knights in tackles for the past two seasons, but he also draws attention for his impressive academic achievements.

Sign Up for E-News

He hopes to graduate with a business degree from UPenn, as well as honors including being named All-Conference at linebacker as well as All-American. Eventually, his goal is to make it to the NFL.

O’Neill’s role model as a football player is Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, an instinctive, physical linebacker that leads his team and embodies all of the qualities that O’Neill strives to emulate.

“I look up to Luke Kuechly because he is one of the best players in the league as a linebacker,” O’Neill said. “I try to mirror what he does on the field to become a better player.”

Ever since his days on the West Essex Cowboys D team in second grade, O’Neill has loved the game of football.

“I love the grind and working hard through all of the workouts and playing with my team,” O’Neill said. “I love competing and the physicality associated with football.”

UPenn was only one of a number of schools to offer O’Neill the opportunity to play at the collegiate level—a group that also includes the University of Buffalo, Lehigh, Lafayette, William & Mary, and Temple University. However, O’Neill decided at the end of his senior season that he would be attending Pennsylvania.

“The combination of great athletics on the Division 1 level with world class education made me chose UPenn,” O’Neill said.

On National Signing Day, Feb. 1, O'Neill was joined by his family and coaching staff as he signed his Letter of Intent to play football at UPenn. For this accomplishment, O’Neill has also been named West Essex Athlete of the Week.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Essex

Essex County Freeholders Celebrate African-American History Month

February 22, 2018

NEWARK, NJ – At its 2018 African-American History Month Celebration on Wednesday at the Hall of Records in Newark, the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders commemorated the heritage, culture, resilience, and spirit of the African-American community.

Brendan Gill, board president and Freeholder At-Large, first acknowledged African-American contributions, both past and present, in ...

Hackensack Resident Charged with Sexual Assualt and Child Endangerment at YMCA

February 23, 2018

HACKENSACK, NJ — Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo announced the arrest of Timothy Smith of Hackensack on six counts each of Sexual Assault by Contact and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti, and the Hackensack Police Department ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, February 24, 10:00 AM

Rock “N” Joe Coffee Bar, Caldwell

Caldwell Coffee With a Cop

Police & Fire


Sun, February 25, 2:00 PM

West Caldwell Public Library, West Caldwell

Concert with Stephen Fuller Quartet

Arts & Entertainment

Free Cardiac and Concussion Screenings for Young Athletes

February 22, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — The Matthew J. Morahan III Health Assessment Center for Athletes (MJM) at RWJBarnabas Health will provide free cardiac and concussion baseline screenings to young athletes on Saturday, March 3, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at South Mountain Recreation Complex, Codey Arena, 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, NJ.

When preliminary testing to identify serious cardiac ...

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  


The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...