New Hampshire Football Report

Yukica Profile: Kyle O’Connor

NOTE: The 2020 Joe Yukica New Hampshire Chapter of the National Football Foundation Scholar/Athlete banquet was cancelled this year because of COVID-19. Each Scholar/Athlete will be recognized with a commemorative program, a plaque and a personal profile that will appear in the program, on the New Hampshire Football Report, the Joe Yukica/New Hampshire Chapter web site ( and the Joe Yukica/New Hampshire Chapter Facebook page. This is one in a series of 39 profiles. Once published, each profile can be accessed by clicking on the athlete’s name at the bottom of the page.

Nashua South

Looking for a high school athlete with leadership skills? Then Nashua South’s Kyle O’Connor is your guy.

O’Connor, who played tight end and linebacker, was a captain for the Purple Panther football team last fall. He was also a captain for the Nashua South wrestling and lacrosse teams.

Football is the sport that will be in O’Connor’s future, however. He’ll continue his playing career at Franklin Pierce University, which elevated its program to Division II last year. Like Saint Anselm College, Franklin Pierce competes in the Northeast-10 Conference.

“He had a lot of opportunities, a lot of things to choose from, but that (Franklin Pierce) was by far the best deal financially for him,” Nashua South coach Scott Knight said. “He had a lot of interest from the NE-10, Sacred Heart. UNH liked him as a walk-on.

“He plays with a chip on his shoulder. I would say he plays with some intensity — that’s why he can play at the next level, because he can play with that different level of intensity. Sometimes we had to slow him down a little bit. One other thing about him is he’s been our long-snapper since he was a freshman. He long snaps like a Division I player. That’s one thing that could have got him on the field at UNH. If you have a kid who long snaps like that it’s a luxury.”

O’Connor was a standout in high school academically as well. His grades landed him on the Honor Roll every quarter. He was an intern with Nashua South’s in-house credit union, and was a teaching assistant in a college-level accounting class.

O’Connor’s combination of athletic and academic success earned him the Scholar/Athlete Award from the Joe Yukica New Hampshire Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. He is one of 39 players who received that honor this year. 

“Physically he’s a tough kid,” Knight said. “He’s smart. He’s coachable. If you tell him to work on something he’ll work on it, so he’s an attention-to-detail kid. He wants to do all the right things. He really wants to please you as a coach, and that’s why it was fun coaching him.

O’Connor was a Division I West All-Conference selection as a linebacker following his junior year, and made the Division I West All-Conference team at tight end after the 2019 season. In addition to his physical play, O’Connor provided South with a big target (6-foot-3, 235 pounds) in the passing game.

Before he reports for Franklin Pierce, O’Connor will represent Nashua South in the CHaD New Hampshire East/West All-Star Game.

“He was a real steady player,” Knight said. “Very good blocking tight end with good hands. Solid on the edge on defense. 

“He knows what he wants to do, which is get an MBA. He did all the right things in the recruiting process and found what he was looking for with Franklin Pierce.

“Kyle has a tremendous work ethic and is a great example of what we’re looking for in a student/athlete at Nashua South.”

Q and A with Kyle O’Connor

Q: Please describe the most memorable moment of your high school football career.

A: My most memorable moment of my high school football career were the dog days of summer, when the entire team was working hard in anticipation for the start of the season.

Q: Tell us about someone who has had a significant influence on your life.

A: The biggest influence to my football career were all my coaches at the youth level with the Nashua Crusaders. They taught me that not only you need to be physically tough, but more importantly, mentally tough.

Q: What is your favorite subject in school and why? 

A: My favorite classes in school are definitely all the business-related classes such as finance or accounting.

Q: What life lessons have you learned from football? 

A: Football has taught me what hard work, dedication, and consistency will get you in every aspect in life.

Q: What is your dream job? 

A: My dream job is to be a financial officer for a big corporation.


2020 Scholar/Athletes: Keith Albergo (Winnacunnet), Thatcher Allen (Exeter), Cole Ames (Lebanon)Mason Belsky (Windham), Patrick Brust (Bishop Brady)Jaedon Cliche (Exeter), Riley Desmarais (Windham), Bobby DiCicco (Windham), Jared Dyer (Merrimack), Casey Gladu (Portsmouth), Owen Gormley (Salem), Jack Grogan (Bedford), Steven Guerette (Bow)Evan Haskins (Pelham), Samson Hodges (Milford), Ethan Holt (Bishop Guertin), Jack Jones (Bedford), Charlie Kneissl-Williams (Bedford), Hunter Lassard (St. Thomas), Joseph Lupo (Bishop Guertin), Jake MacInnis (Pinkerton)Braden McDonnell (Nashua South), Will MacLean (St. Thomas), Hayden Moses (Bishop Guertin), Riley Mulvey (Salem), Kyle O’Connor (Nashua South), Nolan Pafford (Portsmouth), Wade Rainey (Lebanon), Ismael Rivera (Bishop Brady)Oceanne Skoog (Newfound), Caleb Smith (Lebanon), Rolando Sylvain-Stott (Newfound), John Thibault (Trinity), Zach Twardosky (Merrimack), Gavin Urda (Milford), Carter Vedrani (Campbell), Jacob Wenger (Trinity), Jon Willeman (Lebanon) and Devin Wood (Merrimack).

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